Monday, September 30, 2013

Discovering Your Child's Potential

It's always an exciting moment when you get a glimpse of your child's gifts and start to realize what they may be like, or things they may do, when they grow up.

For example, the day my 15yo son discovered he loved, Loved, LOVED accounting, a few days into his new high school accounting course. Or discovering my 3yo doing a press handstand, with pointed toes, on the side of the clawfoot tub (gymnastics lessons, here we come!)

Oh, what precious bundles they are when they are babes... ooey, gooey bundles of mushy, kissable, deliciousness. To me, they are still like a gift waiting to be unwrapped, bit by bit.

Nothing was more exciting to me than when my oldest hit his teen years and the last bits of the wrapping paper came off and finally, before my eyes, he began turning into a man, his strengths, gifts, talents, quirks--all if it at last revealed.  I thought there was nothing more exciting than a newborn babe. But I was wrong. There is nothing more exciting than watching your child turn into the adult he was destined to be, by God's perfect plan and design!

My oldest son is organized, completely detail-oriented (a perfect accountant type), a super-strong leader, a take-charge person (no patience for nonsense and indecision), and fearless. I got the glimpse of the "fearless" when he was 12.  We were all asleep in bed upstairs in our farmhouse, and there was a "crash" downstairs. My husband hadn't come to bed yet. I got out of bed to see what hat happened, but met my son already going down the stairs with a golf club (or maybe it was a baseball bat) in his hand, ready to "do business" with anyone daring to threaten our family. His leadership/take-charge personality got him a quick promotion to manager at work, past all his senior colleagues AND past the managers in training.  He's a good golfer, for no real reason. He never played much. But now he plays with friends, and just has a "knack" for it and enjoys it. (He didn't get it from me!)

My daughter started writing her letters when she was 18 months old. Is it any surprise that new textbooks and workbooks make her giddy?  She started singing before age two, and has never stopped. She has never once had stage fright.  You could ask her to sing for anyone anywhere, and she will open up and sing. No reservations or hesitations. It's not too surprising she is starting to be pretty settled on the decision to pursue a degree in music.  And now, at age 14, it is just as exciting to watch all these things developing along with her long-dormant adult persona, that every day is showing a bit more. Most apparent: her need to see the "whole picture." Such a global thinker! She is also turning into an amazing artist--all on her own. Her sketching and drawing skills are blossoming. I've only ever provided her basic lessons. She is not a natural leader, which was a surprising twist, given she has four little brothers. She has "skills," there, but not natural ones! She's not a natural "mother" type either, although she loves her brothers and is a wonderful sister. I'm starting to see glimpses of a girl who lives happily ever after with a piano and cats, going on missions trips (she was really attracted to the book "Kisses from Katie"). But I don't know! I'm just starting to get a peek, and we're just entering into the final stage of her journey to adulthood. I'm so excited to see where this road leads, and pray every day for guidance and help in shepherding this girl to get here where God has always planned for her to be.

The littles... I get tiny glimpses, like my 5yo, "the gymnast," who as a baby, could jump before he could walk, and walk before he could sit. When he was two, he could leap off the coffee table, doing a complete 360 in the air, and hit the ground running with perfect grace. This summer, he "threatened" to do a back flip. I put him in gymnastics class.

My 4yo, after asking repeatedly and incessantly for "panyo" lessons,  is soaking up piano lessons like a sponge--far more than his oldest brother and sister ever did (they didn't start piano until MUCH older)--and his sister is a wonderful pianist. Oli is probably going to have her beat, hands down. His love and passion for piano is already apparent.

And there's Aram, my 8yo, who has never let a fallacy or inconsistency slip by him. All his textbooks and workbooks are full of his "corrections."  We've recently started read-aloud, and it's hilarious to hear his running commentary on the consistency of or the fallibility of the story. What will that mean for him as he grows? I don't know yet.  He's always analyzing things to see if he can figure out how they work. For example, he said to me, after sitting in deep thought while I made a smoothie one day, "Oh, I think I figured out how the Vitamix works," and he launched into a description of its probable interior mechanics and electronics, which was shockingly accurate. He's done that for the vacuum, the stove, and many other things. Thankfully, it hasn't yet occurred to him to disassemble things to see for himself how they work. I've heard of these kids, though!

What about you? Have you seen any amazing "glimpses" of your child's God-given potential? I'd love to hear about it! It never ceases to amaze me how He designs each of us to be so unique!

I don't know if the similarity between my 4yo and "Jughead" is significant.  Should I be worried?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, that last one made me laugh!!

    I love this post :)

    Your description of unwrapping these kids like little gifts is so accurate. Each one is a surprise, with more surprises year after year.

    Some kids come easily unwrappable and some, you really have to dig and dig and pray and pray, to finally see what's underneath the exterior.

    When Collin was 2, I prayed every day for God to let me see what this child was all about. I truly didn't feel that I knew what was going on in his little mind. He was so complex.

    Today he is still my child that requires me to dig a little deeper and really work to understand where he's coming from. I often tell him that he and I are on different planets. Most of the time we just laugh about it, because it really is like we speak a different language.

    Anyway - I just love your descriptions of your kiddos. A good mom knows the heartbeat of her kids.

    You're a good mom :)