Today we’re gonna try something new.

I got some black turtle beans at the store yesterday. Theo and I spent some time last night looking at the beans, talking about their structure and size, and then talking about what might happen when we soak them in water overnight.

This morning the beans are nicely plump and not so hard.

In a little while, when Nic starts on his projects for the day, I’ll have Theo help me rinse the beans and dry them off with a towel. Then we will get out a box of toothpicks and see what types of structures and shapes we can make with the two together.

Theo is this little civil engineer in the making. He is deeply interested in how sewers are built and how they work and in the mechanics of construction sites. Years ago his interest seemed much like that of all little boys. But it has remained a constant for him for quite some time and he is devoted to learning these things.

So we start with beans and toothpicks. 🙂

Maybe we’ll even use the playdough we made the other day as a foundation for the buildings he might create.

Maybe while he’s not paying attention to anything beyond the moment (aren’t children magnificent experts at that — they teach me how to do it everyday) he’ll be learning much about gravity, physics and the mechanics of structures supporting themselves.

Nic continues to write and illustrate his story about The Day The Earth Had No Gravity. It’s been going on for more than a week now and he’s decided that he has so many ideas that he’s gonna write a chapter book. Chapter one is completed and he’s thinking about the storyline for chapter 2.

A math project last week was to create a multiplication table through 12 x 10. Populating that grid was a wonderful project for him and he is very proud of his creation. It hangs on the corkboard right next to all the artwork from the last couple of weeks.

During the process of creating the table, Nic discovered some of those patterns that make math absolutely beautiful. He discovered square roots. I love that no one taught him about square roots — he discovered for himself there on the multiplication grid. 🙂

This week was the beginning of more formalized spelling and grammar as well. He’s getting quite good at writing stories and only needs my help with spelling some of the time. And yesterday he wrote out the ‘3 grammar rules’ in cursive…which is getting more legible all the time too.

But this IS Nic and he has to complain and resist as a matter of course. So yesterday was our “I’m not doing anything!” revolt day. This seems to happen once every couple of weeks, regardless of what he’s actually working on. And he has to work through it and express it and then he can get on with the project at hand. It’s almost as if something comes bubbling up from within his soul that just needs to be vented off.

I’ve finally come to a place within myself where I can watch this process and understand it for what it is and not get enmeshed in it. Maybe one day he’ll vent off enough of these frustrations and be able to fully engage without a need to resist.

It’s an interesting dichotomy. He is fully enjoying the projects, attacks them eagerly, does them well, is proud of his work — and yet some part of him needs to resist, loudly, and then get back to it.

In past years I didn’t have enough calm within myself to let the process complete itself. Nic would resist and I would back off and feel assaulted. Now, though, I can usually remain calm and identify his need to resist. If I do remain calm, it self-resolves.

Will I ever really understand what the dynamic is within his spirit that requires this process? Maybe not. Maybe this is part of the reason he is ‘here’ in this body and living this life. Maybe THIS points to that which he is here to work out. Thinking along these lines helps me to remember that it is not my responsibility to ‘fix him’ but rather to support him as his spirit manifests itself and begins to work on its issues.

Yeah, I lean to a buddhist sense of the world…can you tell… 😉

blessed be,