And that's how I know that my son is awake. I'd smile and say "Good morning, son." He smiles back as he rubs his eyes. He slept late last night -- as he did almost all summer. It's past 8 in the morning -- not exactly as early as I would have wanted him to rise and shine on a "homeschool day".
But I don't sweat the small stuff. Tomorrow's another day. My goal is to be "in the now" for my son. And the "now" asks me to be a little tolerant. He is, after all transitioning from a long summer break back to the routine of school -- albeit a more flexible schedule provided by homeschool.
I remind him that he's late for school and that starting tonight, he must be in bed by 9PM. My son is a night person. But knowing that work in the "real world" begins in the morning I had to emphasize that he must learn to respect other people's time by being on time for appointments and commitments.
He stares at the wall for what seems like minutes and I knew right then that his mind is still asleep. I "wake" him up and send him to the bathroom for his shower. That should shake off all feelings of sleepiness.
I printed the "Parts of An Ant" document and reminded him of his unfinished goal yesterday. He is happy.
"Mama, can you do the experiment with me?", he says.
I nod and say, "Of course."
He donned on his old shorts and shirt from his former regular school. Eats breakfast and as if with a press of a button, he was ready for school.
He preps his materials and occasionally asks me for help with "grown-up things".
Today, he is into Myrmecology -- study of ants. If I had it my way, I would have read and lectured to him about today's curriculum-dictated lesson, given him drills, reinforced his acquired knowledge and tested him with more drills.
But not today.
Today, I follow his heart. His lessons can wait one more day. His heart cannot. And after about 30mins or so, he's done with his experiment. He enthusiastically announces that he has found the answer he needed.
And we move on to other things.
The truth is, it took us more time to prepare the materials than it did him to finish his experiment.
But this is my job, to follow his lead and give him what he needs. He is happy. He has learned something new. I have learned something new as well -- and happy does not even begin to describe it.
"Mama, you know I think there are some people out there (not all the people, just some) who think that learning about ants or making experiments about ants is lame. But I don't think so. Ants are great creatures. They are smart and strong and they always help each other. I think they even talk to each other all the time." He proudly says.
I say, "Yeah, you're right son."
I would have said more, like "Yeah, some people 'belittle' ants." Or some profound idea relating to respect. But he's said it all. Ants are no small fry. And so are little boys. :)
He started his experiment seeking an answer to one question "What do ants use to bite?" He got his answer. That and more.
Thank you God -- because I'm still alive, and for giving me a little boy with a big heart.
"Science Experiment" form downloaded from TeachWithJoy.com