You never know what you’re going to find when you go through your child’s backpack at the end of the day. Most of the time, I find spelling lists, study guides, a planner, and some textbooks for homework. L. is in third grade, so sometimes there are some random doodles and prizes from the class treasure box, or maybe a lollipop, and always several pencils and pens. A few weeks ago, we found a paper airplane and had to discuss appropriate activities to do in class if/when he finishes seat work early (see Back Row Origami).
Last night, I was truly taken aback by what I found. He had drawn and labelled the structure of the inner ear, quite accurately and intricately. I was so curious to know when he had time to do this, and from which book he copied the information. V. and I were intrigued even more at his interest in the ear, as V.’s specialty as a physician is none other than ear, nose, and throat.
As L. has grown, his career aspirations have of course changed, and of course, he is still seven and a half. There have been times when he has named “doctor” as one of his dreams, but lately he has staunchly said he wants to be a scientist, and at that, one who might find a cure for cancer. He has also spoken of being a teacher, missionary, farmer, inventor, and entrepreneur. All along, we listen, dream along with him, and tell him to keep learning as much as he can and to keep praying for wisdom.
When I talked with him this morning about the picture, he told me that his class is learning about sound. When he saw that part of their studies included details about the inner ear and its workings, he was very excited to share with his classmates that his father is something of an ear expert, among other things. I could hear the pride in his voice, and I wished that V. hadn’t already left for work, that he could have heard all of this the first time around. Not surprisingly, L. had finished the reading quickly for that section, so in his free time, he copied out of his science book the anatomy of the ear.
One picture certainly doesn’t decide a career path, but I can think of few better tributes L. could have paid to his Daddy. Love gets us to take a closer look at what interests the object of our adoration. Love inspires imitation. Love opens our minds to ideas we might have otherwise dismissed. Love gets us to speak up and boast.
V. finally got to tell L. how much he had enjoyed seeing the ear picture this evening when he came home from work. I know already how proud V. is of his son, but there was a unique beauty in seeing just how proud L. is of his Daddy. As for that drawing, we plan to frame it and hang it up in V.’s office.