August 11, 2021

So it began, closer to two fleeting decades ago than the time my mind is willing to accept has passed. The chaotic birth of my daughter, Haley, the first offspring of what would (quickly) become a clan of seven Lowders. “It will be easy.”, I boasted. “We’re teachers, we’ve got this!”, we claimed. “Our kids at school are excellent in our classes, we should have no problems conditioning our own children.”, we said to one another. Overconfident, yeah, to say the least!

Haley, Zachary, Elijah, Penelope, & Mystical Molly, + Michael & Laura = The Lowder Family

Well, I don’t need to tell you how wrong we were! 

One word.


One word is all that is needed to summarize most of the rest of THAT story or, at least, most of the next 16+ years of growing up as (ahem, intense) parents to uniquely and incredibly intense progeny.

About along the time offspring #3 came along, we had both recognized and mostly accepted our parental fate; that our children just were not going to ever be easy.

With our first, we did all of the things in a ravenous attempt to keep up with her, to provide for her the most appropriate environments in school, which she began as a barely four-year-old through early entry in public school and was then accelerated up to grade one by Valentine’s Day…still four… and who just graduated at 16 and is deferring from UNC-Chapel Hill, extracurricular hobbies (she moved away at age 10 to train full-time as a pre-professional ballerina and continues her training, today), with peers (always older, usually much older), all while doing our best to both tell her story (in defense of the seemingly crazy parental pushing that must have been happening from the perspective of those on the outside) and, at the same time, to hold secretive the very wondrous attributes and achievements of this ever-so-intense renaissance kid, so as not to risk offending others. To some extent, this continues even today, even as we know better, and to the deficit of her self-confidence, we attribute our priority to build up those children around us as we missed the internalization of less-than transpiring right before our very eyes. 

Our second was and continues to be, ironically given mystical Molly’s arrival a decade later, our greatest wonder. As is inevitable, a red-haired, beautiful boy, born just 18 months after the first, was and is a challenge. This eventual self-actualization of this wild human is the eternal quest of our time.

That then is the introduction of our first cohort.

About five years pass and now, you see, we are no longer new parents as we begin introducing cohort #2. We’ve got this, we think again. Our third born is, as they say, easy. The problem is, he is too easy and easily looked over. We hope we are doing much better in preventing this these days. We think we might actually be. 

Four years pass and we welcome the last Lowder kid. Precious Penelope completes our growing family and we are now noticing the lightning speed at which childhood is passing by and we have learned perhaps one of the toughest lessons of parenting which is to slow down to take it all in. We do so, for about two more years…(well, in actuality there was absolutely no slowing down but, you get the idea).

Here we introduce mystical Molly, the complete and utter unexpected ultimate blessing. “We’ll be back home in about a day.”, we promised our littles. “We’ve got this.”, we overconfidently told ourselves. “We’ve done this a few times before.”, we thought.

3,110,400 long tics of the clock later we returned home.

Mystical Molly had suffered a blood sugar crash of undetectable within a couple hours of birth. Molly suffered dangerous seizures and her blood sugar rose to four after IV placement and sucrose. If you know a little bit about blood sugar ranges then you know that a level of four is not even a little bit okay. 


She survived the night. 

in a small, hometown, hospital with a level one nursery (very basic with no capacity to provide critical care)

Fast forward through the most harrowing experience of our parenting lives and we now have a three-year-old, brilliant, mysterious, one-in-a-million, literal miracle who should by every medical explanation be dead or, at the very best, severely brain-damaged from not only her early hypoglycemic episodes and seizures but also because her diagnosis and life-sustaining medications came weeks into her life. Long, arduous weeks when her body systems were not compatible with life. 

Molly is perhaps the most profoundly gifted of our bunch, yet, she’ll likely not have the need for extensive gifted testing as our earlier years of parenting combined with our passion and love for education have, indeed, enlightened our thoughts and perspectives of how we might work to provide an optimal environment where she may thrive, in every sense of the word.


And so now here we are. Beginning our fifth year providing academic programming for gifted children (including our very own) and for those with great artistic potential (including until her graduation last spring, our very own), who are often done an intense disservice in the regular education setting. 

Me. Beginning my 20th year as a professional educator.

My husband. Beginning his 23rd year (if we count the three years he spend teaching labs in university science classrooms as a graduate student and research assistant).

Together, we are amidst our 17th year of doing our best to do justice for our five children as we serve in the role of their parents.

So this is my story to share with you, comrades, as we engage in the journey of helping our children to become self-actualized grown-ups, one day, whom we hope with all of ourselves will thrive in this life we’ve given to them. 

For me, I Velcro this shared desire as a fellow parent with my professional career commitment to all children, particularly those gifted who are so often misunderstood and woefully underserved, to do my part in facilitating an environment in which wings are grown, strengthened, and from where maiden flights are launched.

my mission, my purpose, my passion, and my commitment

Enjoy the blog as we attempt to piece together tidbits of empowerment and with my personal hope that you will finish browsing each entry feeling a little more understood, a little more enlightened, and a little more empowered to continue to do the hard work of advocating for our (collective) gifted children.

-Dr. Laura Lowder, parent of five (profoundly) gifted children, educator (K-12 & higher ed.), Associate Professor of Education, Pfeiffer University, beginning year 20 as a professional educator

Disclaimer: In the name of perfectionism and in light of the busyness of life’s more prioritized demands, please ignore any erroneousness. 🙂