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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Children Succeed Despite Us

I am convinced that despite my best effort to be a misguided parent, my children will succeed. As for a recent example, Jenna was given an assignment to create a solar system which was to be 3-dimensional and show movement of the planets. Now, I suppose that's a great project for a 9 year old. I, however, didn't have to build a solar system until I was in 7th grade. And even then, my project amounted to nothing more than a shoebox with some rubber balls in it. To top it off, that year George Nicholson created the coolest science project ever! A guide to "Edible Plants of SC". George would go on to take top honors for that project and live off the land for the remainder of middle school! So I suppose in a way, Jenna's project was my chance to make things right with the universe and to redeem myself for creating such a cut-rate project.

So, as all parents sometimes do, I went into take charge mode. I strongly suggested several ways that we could get things started. All of my ideas centered around a complex system of pulleys, strings and paint. Sort of a big mobile with planets and moons. To keep this story reasonably short, suffice it to say that my youngest daughter had her own ideas. It didn't involve paint (she preferred paper mache), it didn't involve string (she preferred wires), and it didn't involve a mobile (she preferred a stand). Upon the insistance of my very wise wife, I finally listened to Jenna and we followed her plan. And if the truth be known, her idea was absolutely the best. The paper mached balls looked like asteroid pummeled planets and the stand and wires displayed their position wonderfully. She could even rotate the planets with her little finger while it was on the display stand.

And so, I stand humbled and quite pleased with the whole affair. For despite my own ideas regarding this assignment, Jenna's were better. Not too unlike the "Edible Plants" project of so long ago.


Steve said...

Great post. My kids continue to amaze me at how far along they are compared to me when I was their age. I do enjoy working with them on their projects, though. It's great watching their young minds grasp something new.

Alan said...

Yeah, I agree Steve. It is fun to work with them on projects. They are definately further ahead than I was at their age. Must be our West Columbia education.

Todd said...

No kidding, Dook. Our kids are WAY ahead of where we were at their age. My home computer has an alarm that immediately pages the kids if I mess something up.

George said...

Alan forgot that his mom was one of the parent-volunteer judges for the Science Fair that year, so I may have had some inside connections that helped carry me to the top.

Alan said...

Don't sell yourself short, George. Your project rocked. Todd, the only alarms that I remember setting as a kid involved a tin can , some marbles and a string connected to the door of a treehouse. Might be time for us all to tell the kids to go spend some time outdoors. :^)