Friday, October 16, 2009

Cheetahs

Sometimes, I fall into the myth that I have to DO something to help my children evolve. I have to plan something specific, teach them something specific, do a particular cause to have a particular effect.

Not true.

Jack has a science fair coming up, and I'm determined not to be one of "those" moms who does the whole darn thing for their child. I wasn't going to be anything but an administrative assistant on the project. He's coming up with the idea, the format, everything. Just tell me what to buy or do. When I thought of the final creation, though, I wasn't expecting much. I thought we'd have the crayon-sketched posterboard and everyone else might have professional-quality masterpieces. And yet, I couldn't be prouder anyway, since he did it all himself.

He wants to do the anatomy of cheetahs (why are they so fast?), so we checked out every book at the library on cheetahs. We looked at a picture tonight of a cheetah, and I said: "So what's your hypothesis on why they're so fast?" He came up with these answers that just bewildered me. I was speechless, in fact. How did he learn to think like that? To have that type of analytical ability? He was talking in detail about how the legs bend, the size of his skull, the frame of his body. There was a clear and absolute understanding, which came from his own analysis. We hadn't read the books yet. I couldn't believe it!

A few pages into the first book, he asked if I minded if we stopped reading. He said he needed a huge sheet of paper, and asked me to draw an outline of a cheetah. So I did. And then he filled it in with the internal anatomy of the cheetah - heart, lungs, trachea, intestines, everything. He spent a long time on that chart. Then he flipped it over and drew the tracing on the mirror image.

I just sat, watching him, taking it all in. Who he's becoming is absolute magic to me. I don't really understand it. How this little person who was formed inside of my body just 5 years ago is now sprawled on the kitchen floor, drawing the detailed spinal cord of a cheetah.

Who is this little man? Who is he going to become? And where did all of this come from? I love it.

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