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I am Not the Talentless

Growing up in a family of musicians, painters, seamstresses, illustrators, singers, quilters, knitters, photographers, interior designers, architects, athletes, writers and carpenters, I always found something or someone else to blame for what I considered my over-abundance of under-developed talents. I knew I was mediocre at a little bit of everything, but there was no one thing that set me apart, that made me shine, that made me proud of myself. I just figured it was because my parents didn't push me enough, or that somebody else had "taken" the talent that I was interested in.

As I grew older, I realized it was just laziness. I decided to practice the piano and was soon able to play a few hymns. I wanted to learn the guitar so I bought one and messed around with it. I wanted to be a photographer, so I bought a camera and went out to capture the world. I wanted to learn to sew, so I borrowed a sewing machine and practiced altering my clothing. I wanted to be a better artist so I doodled various classmates and professors in my college notebook. I wanted to become a better writer, so I took several classes and majored in English.

Yet all my efforts only provided me with slightly above average skills in several areas. There was still nothing that set me apart, made me shine, no single skill that made me proud of myself.

Then I had a baby.

And suddenly it all made sense. I may not be the worlds greatest artist, but one day I will teach my kids about colors and mediums and how to doodle farm animals. I haven't dropped any hit albums, but I will sing softly to my babies as they drift off to sleep. I can't ask for money for my photography, but I can take some timeless pictures of my little boy as he runs in just a diaper through the summer grass. I can't play the piano like Jim Brickman, but I can pick out an opening song for family night in a pinch. I'm no Martha Stewart, but I can shorten and lengthen hems and take in seams and if I'm feeling adventurous, create a child sized outfit from an adult sized shirt. I can strum some chords on the guitar for impromptu sing-a-longs, I can throw and catch a ball or jump rope, I can think up killer bedtime stories and capture all my family's greatest moments in my journal or a blog.

I am not a prodigy, I am not a genius, but I am not the Talent-less.

I'm a Mom.

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Jessica Anderson is a freelance writer/blogger and frequent recipient of the ironic mother-of-the-year award. In 2011 she gave birth to a baby boy with record-breaking handsomeness, and from there went on to help create and co-author For All Momkind the Blog, providing answers to life's most perplexing parenting questions

*Photos by Jessica Anderson

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