My daughter is a great kid. We tell her every day how smart she is, and beautiful. She’s curious and funny. We remind her that she’s polite and helpful and wonderful, how much we love her.

Yesterday we were sitting together and she said to me, out of the blue “I’m not very smart.”

And I was completely taken aback.

I told her yes, she is smart.

Again “No, I’m not.”

I asked why she would say that, and she replied again “I’m not very smart.”

We affirm to her every day that she is smart. Words and sentences flow out of her, she can do her ABCs and count to 16 (even if she forgets 14 sometimes). She can identify circles and triangles, but doesn’t seem fond of squares. She’s funny and she asks great questions. She understands things it doesn’t seem like she should understand at two and a half.

Every day we tell her, we give her specific reasons and respond to specific actions and we are thrilled because being smart is a great thing.

And somehow today, if only for a little while, she decided that she was not smart and she wouldn’t believe otherwise.

My beautiful, intelligent, confident girl, with her face down in her quiet voice.

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