Sunday, September 25, 2011
But as with so many things related to children, it pays to wait. Now 12 and 18, they interact constantly; and I love seeing how their interactions feed each other.
C explained the difference between ballistics and explosives. Overnight, it seems, C has become both mentor and teacher to S. He shares with his brother vocabulary, music and computer knowledge, and his interests in politics and history. S has so far not had C's inclination toward devouring news and non-fiction reading, so this is a natural way for him to be exposed to what he might not otherwise take in.
What S leans toward naturally is making things. When he decided he wanted to make one of the projects in the book, I asked him to give me an estimate of what it would cost. This isn't contrived mathematics on my part—he wanted to have it funded. So with his brother's help, he made a materials list, along with estimated costs; I gave the boys a little money, and together they went shopping.
I'm not entirely certain that this project wasn't chosen due to its requirement of empty Pringles cans.
Right now we still have very much an older and a younger brother, but their age gap will narrow soon enough. If they are lucky, this relationship they are building will give them a place from which to teach, learn from, and encourage each other over the years. That would be enough for me.