Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Strong, Silent Type

I don't write about my oldest boy too often.  He's the kind of kid who follows the rules.  When there aren't any rules, he makes up his own.

To give you an example, he's the one who does not know what to do for free-time during piano practice.  I've told him he can be creative and play around with existing songs or make up his own songs, but he just sits there, near tears at time, because he doesn't know what to do.  (Lest you think he's a saint, this same boy loves to play around and improvise during piano practice when he's supposed to actually be practicing.)

He's been reading Roald Dahl again and he's going through Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator for the third time.  On our walk to school this morning he said, "Mom, I found a mistake in the Great Glass Elevator book.  It says that the elevator is going 17,000 miles per hour* and they're talking to each other.  But if they're going faster than the speed of sound, they wouldn't be able to hear each other because sound wouldn't be able to travel as fast as they are."

*My approximation based on my awful memory of this conversation.  I'm certain he said the right number.

Another day:
I went in to his room to say goodnight. We love doing math problems so I threw one at him.  "Hey Bud, what's 84 x 3?"

He thought for a second or two and came up with the right answer, 252.  Then I told him why I asked him.  "Dad and I were chatting with a man who sold math books to people.  He was trying to sell us his math books, so we asked how much they were.  He told us they were $84 each and if we wanted three it would be just over $240.  Then he figured it out more precisely, '... 240 and that's 12 so it's...  $246.'"

My boy giggled when he heard this and asked if it was really true.  I assured him it was.  "Was he just being silly?"  I assured my boy that the man really thought the answer was $246.  We agreed that the man needed to read his own books a little more.

Yesterday my boy competed in our school's track and field events against his Grade Five classmates and the older boys in Grade Six.  He analyzed his chances and talked strategy.  He was pretty sure he'd do well in a couple events.  He came home with a 4th place ribbon and a 6th place ribbon.  His sister came home highly decorated.  He didn't show one spark of jealousy.  He went to his room and dug out ribbons from years passed, remembering what each one was for.  He had no ill will towards his over-achieving sister.  We made sure we celebrated his efforts as much as his sister's.  We can't all get First Place.  But we can all do our very best.

Tonight he and I sat for over an hour, researching whatever he wanted to look up on the computer.  We started with sonic booms (first aircraft and then land vehicles) and moved on to roller coasters.  He knew the name of the tallest coaster and how high it is.  Speed, inclines, loops - he wanted to look at all of them.  This boy loves numbers; he loves quantifying things; and he loves to learn.

I love this boy of mine.  He takes after his father.  He's smart, silly, often quiet and withdrawn.  His antics don't usually make the news, but he's awesome all the same.

When you least expect it, he pulls one of these and makes everyone laugh.


  1. I don't know a lot about Luke, as I haven't been around for most of his growing up years, but I certainly remember him as a baby...and it was love at first sight. He was and I'm sure stil is, such a joy to be around! x x

  2. Your kids are amazing!!! So happy to have them as friends.