My son is enjoying learning to sew. He saw a program on the military channel about the history of bullet-proof vests and wanted to make one. We dug out some fabric (that I used to make a tent for him) and he designed the vest with a little help from me.
My oldest son, at the age of three, was intrigued by a local one-man band that played nine instruments along with pre-recorded tracks. He received extension cords for Christmas that year and pretended to hook up all the equipment by “plugging” the cords into the couch and into his tinker-toy creations and instruments. We took him to Kindermusik and gave him piano lessons. We toured power plants to build upon his fascination with electricity. He used to take old-fashioned reams of computer paper and lay them out and draw high-tension towers and electric lines running all over the place. It was this strange confluence of electricity and music that led him to build his own sound business. He invested in equipment and runs sound for live events at area schools, churches, bands and colleges. And, despite his parents suggesting electrical engineering as a field of study, he has decided to pursue a degree in music.
Piano lessons for all the kids is a given – non-negotiable. Why? It was the only thing I did as a kid. As the youngest of six kids, I wasn’t even a Girl Scout! If I couldn’t walk or ride my bike to it, I didn’t do it. But Mom believed in piano lessons, so I studied that. The main reason I gave my kids piano lessons is that I believe it has benefits beyond learning an instrument. So even if my kids don’t go on to become performers, I think they have all benefited from the technical aspects of learning to read music….from the confidence that is grown from having to perform in front of people, and from the simple love of music that is developed by studying it.
My girls? One enjoys arts and crafts, and you’ve learned a little about her through this blog. The other…she was reading since the age of 4 – earlier than that she would sit on the couch and just look at books (how easy was that kid?). Suffice it to say, she’s a brain, can read and play music like nobody I know, and might pursue a medical career.
So, I hope that I’m viewed as a mom who helped her kids develop their passions. Or, maybe, I’m the bad mom that lets her kids play with toy guns. I just hope I’m a mom who lets her kids imagine and dream….and right now, my youngest has been inspired by Shaun White.
This is awesome! My two boys are constantly wanting things like this, in fact in a flurry of creativity my youngest son made a rifle bag for his airsoft gun just yesterday. It was enigmatic to watch a 12 year old who can create and sew something but that something was for his very large sniper rifle. 🙂 I will show him this vest, because I know he will want one! 🙂
Jane, you sound like a great mom to me! I love that all of your kids had to have piano lessons. Piano is the perfect starting instrument! I never did ANY activities, so I’m envious that your kids have such a strong and supportive mom. Goooooo Jane!
It is wonderful reading about how you encouraged your children to follow their natural interests. I agree with Kate, you sound like a great mom.
Makes me think about how my mom encouraged any interest I had. Books-I loved them and she’s always supported that. Art- she was 100% behind that. Skating, dance, horses, gymnastics you name it she was making it happen. I think she always new I’d go into art.. but she still let me explore other interests and let me find my path.
Growing up it never really hit me how special that was until I was going away to college. The dean of stood up in front of an auditorium of freshman art students and parents and opened his speech with “I know, I know despite all your efforts to the contrary your child wants to go to art school. Have no fear we’re a very successful program so you won’t be supporting them the for rest of your lives.” The round of chuckles and nods from most parents in the room really made me stop and think about how glad I was to have always had my mom’s support and encouragement.
Keep up the good work!
I agree with the others that you sound like a great mom, who encourages her kids interests and doesn’t try to mold them into something they are not, just to satisfy her own hopes and dreams. Great work, Mom!
This made me chuckle. It’s great that he’s learning to sew! Woot woot! My boys are crafty, too, and it’s so much fun to find ways to make it interesting for them.
That’s BRILLIANT! And also, incredible forward planning, now there’ll be some kind of padding between him and hard surfaces when he does all that…boys stuff that boys do.
(also, everything you do is kind of what we do, but instead of school 😮 )