Thursday, August 09, 2012

My growing young man

I have been so impressed with Jonathan lately. He is bright and driven and passionate about everything that he does, and it is so neat to see his passion directed toward good things.

He's been quite entrepreneurial in the past weeks, creating money-making opportunities with various friends. One day they drew pictures and chose toys from their stash, then set up a box outside by the road and sold everything for 50 cents each. Another evening they dressed up as police officers and wrote "tickets", then handed them out to adults for various infractions and requested payment. (That one slipped by us mothers until after the fact - we explained that while it was very clever, it was probably not a game that should be repeated!) The kids have carefully divided their cash between all involved, and Jonathan has tithed on it faithfully.

This week Jonathan has been attending VBS, and the children are collecting pennies for African missions. Yesterday evening inspiration struck, and Jonathan created his very own juice blend (oranges, carrots, and spinach) in the vitamix, then carried cups of it door to door and sold it to raise pennies for Africa. He collected just over $10 and was SO proud of himself when he brought it to the VBS donation bin!

I'm seeing a lot of initiative from Jonathan in other areas as well. He frequently asks me to show him how to get his own snack, instead of just asking me to do it for him. He is enjoying learning some kitchen basics, although his refusal to touch a knife is a bit limiting. (The first time I let him try cutting with a "real knife", his hand slipped and he cut his hand. He hasn't wanted to try again yet!) But it sure is neat to be able to say "Quesadillas are a great plan for lunch. Go ahead and start getting them ready!" :)

On Monday Jonathan started taking gymnastics lessons. He has asked to do that off and on for some years, and watching the Olympics added to his desire. With no one napping in the afternoon anymore, it is now possible to add such things to our schedule! He is so excited. Today was his second lesson, and afterward his teacher asked me if he'd been in gymnastics before. Apparently he has good skills and focus, and his teacher wants to switch him into the pre-team class that meets for 2 hours instead of one, and is designed to get him ready for team competition. This is fabulous news for my competitive, flexible, (short!) and driven little guy! He is loving every minute of his time in the gym and wants to know why he can't go every day. :)

There are many other things: emerging empathy for those who are sick or injured, his love of good stories (he's reading The Hobbit with Gabe right now!) the complex creations that he enters in Lego competitions, and two nights ago he stayed up late so that we could teach him how to play Dominion with us. (He has now won, twice in a row.) It has been a good summer for my boy.

When I tuck all my boys in at night, part of my prayer for them is that they would grow up to be "a good, strong young man." It is pretty wonderful to get to watch that start to happen.