06 September 2010

The Joy of Children (episode 2)

Continuing my celebration of my children, and the sheer joy of learning how they think, and the depths to which their thoughts carry them, I have to share some of Ahern's recent work. I love it when they come home and tell me about a project, especially with passion and excitement for me to see or hear their work. Last week, he came home relatively excited by something he called Six Word Memoirs. The way he explained it, each student needed to think up a six word memoirs that summed up their life to this point.

Here's the sad part of the story. Ahern clearly wanted to share his, but I only half listened as I was in the middle of lesson planning. When I did look up from my computer, he didn't want to share anymore. Lesson learned. When my son, or one of my daughters approaches me with that kind of excitement and pride, or with any request for my attention for that matter, I need to give it without hesitation. I will find my place again, and nothing I am working on deserves a higher priority status than my children. Period.

This sat heavily with me, and I waited for an opportunity to express interest. It never came, so on Thursday morning I asked him to please email me his final copy. Wow! We've all heard the saying 'Words cannot express...' I don't recommend saying that to Ahern. In each of the three different Six Word Memoirs he wrote, my 12 year old son managed to express mountains of emotions and amazing depths of understanding. Take a look for yourself:

Pretty amazing stuff, and so revealing of what drives my son. The photos he picked to accompany his memoirs support the six words he chose on so many levels. The first series of four are of an inspirational / motivational speaker who visits middle and high schools all over the world. Youtube carries the videos, and I remember Ahern showing them to me a few months ago. It says so much about how he is dealing with the challenges of middle school and changing friendships. The second picture is so striking in light of his goal to make the 2016 Olympics in swimming. A lot of work faces anyone wanting to achieve such a thing, and Ahern's already faced doubt from people whose job is to support him regardless. Even so, he believes in his ability, and has the determination and willingness to work hard to get there. Just look at the six word memoirs accompanying that picture now that you know what he hopes and intends to attain!

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