I grew up in the shadow of my brother. He may have been a jerk, but he was a genius. As a baby, he was the perfect baby. He was quiet, not very demanding. As he got older, he was quite content to sit in a corner playing by himself. Once, my parents accidentally left him in his stroller staring at the bread aisle. When they found him, he was perfectly happy.
As a toddler, he had a very good vocabulary and was obviously very smart. When he was around 2 yrs old, our grandma was doing Itsy Bitsy Spider and she pronounced “again” to rhyme with rain. My dear brother said, “No grandma, it’s pronounced “again.”” When he was that young they all thought it was cute. As he got older, he would focus on a particular subject and learn everything he could about it, such as dinosaurs. He knew all their scientific names by the age of 3.
By 5, he was reading. In kindergarten he just didn’t fit in, so mom pulled him out of school and homeschooled/unschooled us both. We were both very eager to learn, although I despised math. Probably because I mix numbers up. Dyscalculia. We fought over math a lot… But everything else was much easier. Mom and Dad were both college educated biologists and we got to go on nature hikes all the time, learning about the different flora and fauna. We were certainly not secluded, either. We spent a bit of time with other children, although I remember they picked on my brother a lot. He was badly bullied. Once, these boys beat my brother up, stole his favorite shirt and shoved it down a port-a-potty. I ran to get mom. I remember being scared to go into the house she was at, but my brother needed her. He was bleeding and crying, but the only thing he was worried about was his shirt. Believe it or not, my dad actually got it out of the port-a-potty… I think mom still has it in a chest somewhere.
By 13, my brother graduated to college (he tested out of high school) and studied computers. He also taught himself ancient Greek and studied other languages. He has a seriously good knack for languages. By 19 he was still in college and changed majors to music, which he excelled in, of course. He can play pretty much any instrument and sings. A truly gifted person who has no real motivation to do anything with it.
He was certainly a pain to grow up with, especially with his Aspergers issue and since we knew nothing about it. As it turns out, my brother and I are not that different after all…