My younger son potty trained himself at 24 months. He took his diaper off and said he needed underwear. I was like, “No, you need a diaper.” Two days later, his day care was like, “No way.” But he did it.

Then he taught himself vibrato at age six. Most cello students work years to learn vibrato at age ten.

He was invited to be on the traveling soccer team, the gymnastics team, and the dance team. He intuitively knows how to translate verbal commands to physical actions. It’s his thing.

He doesn’t read. He is in a family of obsessive readers and he doesn’t read. One day I said, “Can’t you just sit down with a book?” and he said, “Mom, don’t you see that I hate reading?”

He can read just fine. He’s great at reading the instructions for how to cheat in a video game. But he doesn’t like looking at the written word. It’s not comforting to him like it is to the rest of his family.

If he were in school he’d be a slow reader. He’d be the kid waiting for recess. He’d be the boy trying to date girls even though he’s only eight. The moms would say, “That boy is up to no good. Stay away from him.”

But instead he’s a cello genius. The line between cello genius and slow learner in school is so slim. If you learn in a special way, you don’t fit the mold for school. And there’s no other way to categorize those kids who learn in a special way except slow.

School rewards – and teaches – mediocrity. “Try a little of everything. Learn to do stuff you don’t like.” If you are not able to be at least mediocre at most things, you are an under-performer in school.

I read a poll that said half of all women think they are only one or two missteps away from being a bag lady. I think kids in school are the same way – they are each one or two missteps away from becoming their classroom’s slow learner.