What We Found in the Backpack

Inner Ear by L., 10/11/12

We found this while doing our nightly check of L.’s backpack.

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.



  1. What an absolutely sweet story!

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Thank you! He is truly a sweet boy. He came down with an unidentified illness over the weekend, so no drawings for a while, or school for that matter! He almost always gets strep throat, but his throat is not sore this time–just high fever and deep fatigue…taking him in to the pediatrician tomorrow.

  2. What a wonderful example of Biblical honoring of parents, in this instance, his dad! There is a promise of long life that goes with honoring our parents. (Eph 6:2-3; Ex 20:12)
    Agape, Liz

    1. Thank you for reminding me of those verses, and that promise!

  3. That is absolutely amazing!!!

    1. Thanks! It’s always nice to get pleasant surprises like that!

  4. This is so precious. I love watching them decide what they are going to be for a living and change. We’ve been through a couple manifestations, finally landing on this paleontologist…Do you think there’s any money in that? Audiology–yes.

    1. My L. has mentioned paleontologist before, too. It’s funny, because when my husband hears L. talking about wanting to be a doctor, he swells with pride but also cringes–the road to M.D. was not an easy one for him (or us)…I think he might even sway L. into something different, but sometimes the career chooses the person more than the person chooses the career…at any rate, I wanted to be a garbage collector as a child so I could ride on the back of the truck. 🙂

      1. cafecasey · ·

        Garbage collecting is now recycling and saving the environment–which is cool. Medicine is a hard road. There are so many struggles between schedule, med school costs, live-affecting decisions. It’s a tough, tough job.

      2. It is tough! We firmly believe V. is in the right career, but there have been many, many times when it all just seemed to be “too much”.

  5. Hi I’ve finally had a chance to get back to your blog now that my violin concert is over. Your son strikes me as one of those people who could make a real contribution to the world in some way. It would be intriguing to see where he ends up. The road towards becoming a doctor sounds hard but it’s also hard for patients, especially when there is no cure so we still need to get bright minds into the medical and scientific professions. My son is also 8 band in the third grade. It’s a lovely age. Hope L is feeling better and his drawing will be a great conversation piece in Daddy’s office. Best wishes & God Bless, Rowena

    1. Thank you for your extended visit to my blog, and for all of your thoughtful comments. V. and I are amazed when we watch our boy, and not just because we are his biased parents. We were both bright kids but L. seems to be even more so…our prayer for him is that he keeps listening to God in his life, walking humbly with his Lord, and keeping his heart open to however God wants to use his gifts. As long as he is using his talents to serve others and God, we will be happy to see him follow his dreams. What he doesn’t realize yet is that sometimes the dreams do the following and before you know it, you’re right where you never expected to be, but you know it’s “right”.

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