Dean was hurrying to get to his car from work when he heard a flap of angel wings beside him. Cas was there, already reaching out to put a hand on his shoulder. They didn’t need to speak, the panic racing through the bond they had making it simple and quick to communicate what had happened. Cas clutched his shoulder a little tighter before transporting them to Jace’s school.
They appeared in the elementary school’s parking lot. It had been Jace’s first day of school, having skipped preschool and kindergarten to first grade. There hadn’t been enough time to get him enrolled and go through that many years of schooling that he didn’t need before he was too grown to enter in the first place. They hadn’t been aware they needed to put Jace in school so soon, but his fast growth rate changed so much.
They made their way quickly into the bustling office where they saw Jace and went to him to make sure he was alright. Cas’s hands ran over Jace’s forehead while Dean’s searched his all his limbs down to counting his fingers. He was only three years old, but physically he looked to be five years old. Jace shrugged when they asked him what was wrong. The both of them were sent straight into the principal’s office once they asked the desk.
Dean had been expecting more of a principal’s office, honestly. He’d been sent to a lot of them in his time and this one looked to be in shambles.
The woman greeted and seated them. “Thank you for coming Mr. and Mr. Winchester,” she only slightly hesitated when it came to naming them. “I apologize for the mess, but it’s like this every first week of a new year.”
“What’s wrong?” Dean asked abruptly. He didn’t like being kept in the dark and worry was eating him up. “He’s only been here two hours. What could possibly be wrong?” He could feel the apprehension from Castiel as well through the bond.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am. We’d just like to get straight to it when it’s concerning Jace,” Castiel explained gruffly.
She nodded and folded her hands. “You had informed us of Jace’s growth condition, and how much was that again?”
“He grows 1.6 times the normal rate,” Cas supplied curtly.
“Yes, well. It seems like his mind is making greater leaps than his body. You hadn’t informed us that he could read,” she said, a little harried.
Dean shrugged. “Uh, yeah. What was the last book he read?” He addressed the question to the angel.
“I believe we just checked out Gulliver’s Travels and a Mary Stewart novel just yesterday. He is partial to adventure and mystery books,” Castiel stated, referring back to the lady behind the desk.
She smiled uneasily. “Yes, but our objective for our students in first grade is to start recognizing and reading words. So you see how this is a little beyond him.”
Castiel spoke then. “What do you suggest? Moving him up a grade?”
Dean protested at that. “No, he told us straight out that he wanted a normal school experience. As normal as he could get.”
The principal sighed. “Well, actually, he would need to be tested but just from the books you’ve described, he is reading at an eighth grade level, perhaps beyond. I wouldn’t suggest keeping him in first grade because it wouldn’t be a good environment for him.”
Dean’s brows furrowed. “What do you mean?”
“Well, in cases such as these, a gifted student is often cut off from the rest of the class due to boredom or forced isolation. It’s hard on everyone in there, the child for not being challenged and possibly ostracized by the class and the rest of the students for seeing someone so beyond their learning abilities, as well as the teacher having to create two different lesson plans,” she explained.
“It sounds like we need to move him up then,” Dean said, finally able to see the situation a little better.
The principal sighed once more. “Unfortunately, I don’t think that would be good either. Jace would be similarly ostracized for his intelligence at a higher grade level. I would suggest seeking out a private school, one that can accommodate your son’s learning needs or homeschooling him.”
Cas and Dean looked at each other, coming to a decision through their bond and the feelings being passed through there. “We’d like to look into private school, then. We believe that we should explore every chance at giving Jace as normal a school life as possible before homeschooling him completely,” Castiel enlightened.
The principal looked pleased and a little relieved. She then rifled through her desk before bringing out a small stack of pamphlets and sliding them across the desk to them. “Here is some information on local private schools. If you can’t find a good fit, we’d be happy to help in some research to find a better school, although not in the area.”
They nodded and Cas picked up the pamphlets, handing some of them over to Dean. The principal stood and led them out. Castiel went to Jace while Dean finished up some paperwork at the desk, de-enrolling Jace from the school.
It wasn’t until they were home that Jace asked what happened.
“Well, baby, you’re too smart for that school. So we’re looking at some different schools for you. Won’t that be fun?” Dean said, holding Jace close in his lap on the couch.
Jace shrugged, still looking a little down. “What’s wrong, Jace?” Castiel asked, sitting next to them both.
Jace sighed. “I’m not normal, am I?”
Dean answered this time. “You want to know a secret, buddy?” He had gotten Jace’s attention with that. “There is no such thing as normal. So don’t you ever think that you should be judged by other people’s standards of normal, okay?”
Jace nodded and sighed. “Okay. It’s not like any of the people I read about a described as normal. Not the interesting ones, anyway.”
Dean laughed at that and Cas smiled. “Exactly. Other people’s definition of normal is too boring to take part in,” Castiel agreed.
Dean hummed his concurrence. He was always a little amazed at how eloquent Cas was sometimes. He kissed their son on his head and then kissed Cas on the cheek, winking at him as well.