Friday, December 21, 2012

Ethan- Engineer Extraordinare


We noticed from a very, very young age that Ethan had an analytical mind.  When he was about eight months old, he had no interest in crawling.  He would rather watch other babies crawling around and getting into stuff, and he was always content to just observe.  When I was a new mom and read too many books about what my baby "should" be doing and when he "should" be doing it, I was always concerned.  And it didn't help matters when other moms would comment about my stationary baby. 

He was slow to talk.  Other kids around him would be chatting away and again, Ethan would just sit back, observe, and be quiet.  But at the time I didn't understand that he was observing.  I didn't know why he was always so quiet and still.  He NEVER got into things.  He never got into mischief.  Even as a toddler, he was just so relaxed and what I thought was "unmotivated".

And then his school career began and teachers told me that he was a daydreamer.  He was always looking off into the ethric, his mind wandering, never interested very much in what was being said around him.  His attention would be focused on something totally unrelated to the topic in class. But it was never PEOPLE that had him distracted.  It was THINGS that held his interest.

In first grade, it really began to be a problem for his teacher.  You can read about it HERE in this entry.  But in second grade, he was lucky enough to have the amazing Miss Ulrich who turned out to be a wonderful advocate for him.  She recognized that he didn't have a problem, per say, but a different way of learning that many kids had.  Her focus was getting him to hold on to his thought processes, but find a way to make it mesh in a normal school environment.  And she worked with him all year and it what a fantastic year it was!

I wish I could go back in time and talk to myself.....as a veteran and experienced mom, to a young and very new and paranoid mom.  I would tell her that it was OKAY that he would rather sit and watch the other kids instead of do it himself.  Perhaps his little brain was pondering and watching and considering other possibilities of how to crawl or walk or even communicate differently.  Maybe, even at the tender age of twelve months old, he was thinking about a more efficient way to do the normal things that other babies were doing.  But he never did crawl.  He went straight to walking when he was thirteen months and one week old.  And his speech went from fragmented and single words to full, eloquent sentences at three years old.

Now I have a thriving, brilliant, happy, well rounded, and social-butterfly of a nine year old on my hands.  His mind is that of an engineer or a physicist of sorts.  If you ask him who his idol is, he'll tell you Thomas Alva Edison.  He was thrilled to death when they studied a whole unit on him last year in school.  He knows almost every fact about the man (that has been published, anyway).  His mind is always thinking of ways to build something.  He is drawing, diagramming, sketching, outlining, charting, etc.  A few years ago one of his grandpas built him a workbench for his room, equipped with his very own set of tools on a pegboard.  He is always gathering supplies from the kitchen like empty soup cans, milk cartons, and cardboard boxes for his inventions.  Today when he got home from school he said "Mom!  I need some paper, tape, and glue!"  He got to work doing something, but I wasn't sure just exactly what that was.  And when he was finished, he was soooooo excited to show me.  He made a paper city and even taped some Matchbox cars to the street lanes.  There is a skyscraper apartment building, with a parking lot and a city park and people out walking on the sidewalk.  He said he's going to add on to it tonight.  He said "Mom, I can't wait until I'm a grown up and I can make my creations come to life!!"  And I'm sure he'll do it, too.  I am so excited to see what the future holds for this little inventor.  It baffles my mind sometimes when I think that he came from ME!!  I am so, so proud to be his mama.


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