My kids are gifted academically. I feel thankful and blessed. I do not take credit other than we read to our kids, and we didn’t baby talk. Jake, look there’s a Cardinal at the bird feeder as opposed to Wook, Jake there’s a wittle birdie at the feeder. When the kids were 3 and 5, we were in the car, and Jake wanted Dad to give him math problems. 32-7. I was literally digging through my purse for a pen and paper, Jake was debating if he wanted easier problems and Molly stated “25”. I was amazed, Jake was mad, and Dave was laughing because I couldn’t do it in my head. I’m just not confident- I need the visual. The competition began. As the kids grew up, they continued to compete with each other. They would get into debates for the sport of it. I would run downstairs thinking Dave and Molly were in a fight. We’re just talking, Mom. Molly would fill me on on her day, tell me gossip, make me laugh. But with her dad, they would have deep intellectual conversations. Her knowledge of things amazes me. When Jake was a freshman, he aced his biology final. The teacher accused my husband of giving Jake access to the final ahead of time. He didn’t cheat, he wouldn’t cheat. He certainly didn’t need to cheat. When Molly decided she wanted to go away to college, I decided to prepare a solid list of reasons why it wasn’t a good idea. There was not one reason that she did not have a thoughtful, solid argument comeback. She had done her research. She wasn’t interested in colleges that didn’t have a good ranking for students passing the MCAT. I went to bed after our debate- she smoked me by the way- thinking my kid’s going 30 hours away to college, and I actually feel good about it. Prior to that my attitude was completely the opposite. Many, many, many people over the years have complimented me on my kids’ academic accomplishments. I’m proud, but humble. Everything, every grade, they have achieved on their own. Molly did everything on her own from kindergarten on. I never once helped her on any assignment. She gave her Valedictorian speech last night. It was funny and clever. It was her own. She wouldn’t have asked or wanted my help. My biggest wish is that Jake will be able to return to college this fall. He will be thin and weakened by the chemotherapy. He will probably struggle to get back into the swing of things. He’s been hospitalized more the past 2 years than not. He will be determined to succeed. My other wish is that Molly loves her university; that she continues to flourish and that she achieves the goal of becoming whatever she dreams to be. For the past 10 years, it has been a pediatric oncologist. She’s done her research. She knows what it entails. Whatever she decides, I’ll be proud….