Monday, September 06, 2010

Train Up a Child

My son turned 9 this week.  Like many boys his age, Jacob has a love for all things Lego.  Those little plastic, lumpy bricks can hold his attention for hours.

Of course a big bucket of them provide open-ended creativity, but he also likes the "model" type; where there are step by step directions showing him how to create a specific space ship or race car.

When he first started doing the model kits, I was doing 95 percent of the construction. The detailed directions had to be followed by me, and I would let him work on squeezing a few blocks together. Later, he worked on finding the pieces and handing me the ones I called for. This year we had reversed those roles - I worked on supplying him with the pieces he asked for.

Today I saw one of his birthday Lego kits completely constructed.  He hadn't asked for my assistance.

"Jake," I said. "When did you put that one together?"

He shrugged, "A few minutes ago."

Not only done by himself... but done quickly.

I had the slightest twinge of sadness that he had done it without me, but I refused to hold that emotion; I let it pass. The job of every good father is to help his son grow in independence. My son needs me a little less than he did a year ago.

Which is exactly as it should be. :)


curmudgeon said...

When Christopher was 8 or 9 we bought him a new bike. I was ready to help him learn. I grabbed on the back to steady it and told him okay start peddling. Before moving an inch he said, "Dad let go". I told him I was going to help him. He again told me to let go. I did and he took off on his bike without my assistance and rode it like had been on it for years. I asked him where he had learned to bike and he said, "I had a dream that I could."

I experienced the same emotions,

Steve H. said...

We are proud when they grow and yet its bitter-sweet because I want my baby that NEEDS me :)

Great post!

Bob said...

Legos will give way to dating and driving. Enjoy the "Lego Days." They go fast!

Don said...

My oldest is 42, my youngest 29...Enjoy them while you can.

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