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  • Carmen Cristini Eichman

Gifted ... What's Your Definition?

Well, Tony Baloney is gifted. At first he thinks (and hopes), he is going to get lots of presents! His excitement quickly dwindles when he realizes gifted means more homework, harder tests, and special classes with older kids, with no actual gifts. (Good-bye thoughts of a new video game!) As you can imagine, he's not thrilled. He is quick to point out, who would be happy in his situation? However, he does like the idea of having a "big brain," which is how he defines what it means to be gifted.

Throughout his stories, his vocabulary is advanced for his age. He's quite impressive! Don't worry though, Tony provides helpful interpretations for the reader. With humor, childlike innocence, and insights of an eight year old boy, he puts his own spin on his explanation of big words. He makes them relatable to other children of similar age. Eventually, he also manages to explain what these big words really mean. Like I said, he's a smart kid!

How do you define gifted? Someone who is . . . More capable? Bright? Advanced? Super Creative? High Intelligence? Above average? A high achiever? Exceptional? "Big Brains"? Perhaps, all of the above? The dictionary explains gifted as "having exceptional talent or natural ability." You or your child may not have been labeled "gifted" in school, but that doesn't mean he, she, or you aren't gifted. (I know my Grandma thought I was, even if my teachers never said so! She believed in me, as only a grandmother would!)

I honestly think that everyone is truly gifted in his or her own way. Don't you agree? We all have our talents and abilities, more than we even realize. So you can be gifted in academics, music, athletics, art, business, and writing. But what about compassion, reasoning, driving, kindness, and the list goes on and on and on. Some talents and abilities are recognized early in life, some take time and nurturing, while others may be harder to discover. The important thing is to encourage and appreciate all gifts, large or small. They are amazing presents worth celebrating! Just don't look for a big bow tied around them.

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