Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Individualize and Nurture the Passions

It's not always easy to help kids figure out their paths to success in this complicated world. I think back to my own kids, pictured here 17 years ago, and wonder how "what I know now" could have helped them then. I suppose I instinctively encouraged their strengths somehow in allowing my son Nick the space to explore his "creative" interests, even though it often led to inadvertent property damage as something was ground into the carpet, or propelled into walls. Nick loved to build: legos, Knex and just about anything else he could get his hands on. As he grew older I recall his changing voice beckoning to me, "Mom... can we go to Radio Shack? I just need a couple parts.. it will only be a couple dollars!" Of course, wanting to encourage his scientific exploration, off we went to Radio Shack where, yes, the transistors, resistors, whatever they were called! cost me only a couple of dollars. Of course then there was the negotiation for larger, more expensive items, and Nick worked his magic on me. He is the only kid I know who could negotiate a proposal for a birthday/Christmas gift months before the event. "Come on Mom... then you won't have to buy me anything for my birthday.. "
Nick also loved music as he grew up, and at times, loved to sit at the piano, playing by ear. His musical gift comes from both sides of the family, and brings him joy, even now though it is mostly only expressed through his "guitar hero" playing down at UCLA.
Nick has discovered his passions in life, and at 22, is more highly evolved than his mother for sure! Today he awaits his acceptance into the top engineering graduate schools in the nation. He will be the first PhD in our family. And the coolest thing of all, at least for me, is when he says, 'Hey Mom! Why don't you go to school with me? We could get our doctorates at the same time!"
Yes, I am a proud mom.
P.S. And yes, I am equally proud of my beautiful bright daughter Stefanie as well, and will dedicate a future post to her and her quest for discovery. ( with her permission, of course :-) )

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