Monday, November 9, 2009

Along for the ride

When I first embarked on motherhood, I suspected I'd be the navigator of the ship, to some extent. Not to control my child, but that I was responsible for his/her spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. This has been debunked in so many ways, so many times.

Had you asked me about what language to teach a child young, I'd have said "Chinese." I've never quite understood the fascination with teaching children Spanish at a young age, since it's so easy to pick up later on. Focusing on one with complicated pronunciation, before the window for that closes, makes much more sense to me. But what do I know?

So instead of us choosing a path for Jack (having him learn Chinese, for example)...we just followed his whim, and now he's about a year into his Russian lessons...and still runs upstairs to get dressed when I tell him his lesson is today. Amazing. Not ever even slightly has he balked or whined about going over there. Which helps soothe paying the weekly tuition, too... :) There'd be some financial relief if he wanted to quit, and yet it's worth it to go pick him up and hearing him talk to Natalie in a language I don't know.

Magical creatures, these children are.

I just ordered 2 books online to learn Russian, and Steve and I are going to take a class together. We sense he's really serious, and that means something to us. Imagine! He's paving our path. That's not what parenthood is "supposed" to look like, and yet...how much more beautiful to watch them unfold and then be ignited by their interests.

And yet...even though I want to nurture their interests/passions, how incredible to watch your children surpass you and become something you couldn't have dreamed of becoming. I look at all three of my children and see the largeness of their being. I know in my heart they have something I don't have, and I love that. I can't wait to watch them...see what they teach me...see who they are.

We worked on his science fair project a lot this weekend. How well does tape stick to different textures? Watching him work was breathtaking to me. He absolutely adored bar graphs, and picked up on the concept immediately when we Googled for ideas on how to show his results. So he made a bar graph showing how much weight each texture held, using paint to make the different lines. He had 9 results and only 8 colors of paint, and you should have seen his delight and getting to "invent" another color by mixing them.

This wasn't who I was as a child. I had things I loved, mind you. But it was different than who he is. Like having him say from the backseat, with this look of absolute concentration: "So what WOULD eels have looked like in the Jurassic period?" Or giving micro-details about Star Wars moments to his friend in the car, as they debated something or 'nother about the Emperor. I didn't even understand what they were talking about.

I suspect that will happen more and more over the years. :)

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