Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're Not All Bookworms

Because of how much the older 4 kids read, one might get the impression that we all spend most of our days absorbed in our respective novels. Not so! We've actually put a limit on the number of hours the kids can spend reading for pleasure -- actually limited it to only after supper/before bed and on weekends. [We did lift that moratorium over the weekend when the power was off, so everyone went book crazy.]

The only person the book ration really didn't affect too much was Andrew. Reading and pleasure shouldn't be used in the same sentence, in his opinion! Because of his dyslexia, he has always struggled with reading. His comprehension is well above grade level, but reading...well, it's coming along!!! He has made tremendous progress over the past year. Very encouraging!!!

Of course, Andrew has in the past seen his challenge with reading as a real handicap -- everyone else in the family loves to read and reads well. This was especially hard when his little sister passed him up in reading. We were constantly reminding him of his strengths and giftings.

I especially remember one instance almost 2 years ago when Andrew was helping me fix the shower head. The little holes were clogged with sediment and I needed to drill them out, but I couldn't get the drill to work. Andrew, then only 8 years old, said, "Give me that, Mom. I'll see if I can fix it." I handed him the drill and then went back to poking the drill bit in the hole and wiggling it around (not very effective). Half an hour later, Andrew brings back the drill and says, "Here ya go, Mom. I took it apart and the wire was busted inside, so I rewired it. Works fine now." At that moment, I knew he had found his vocation.

Doug's friend, Esteban, one time asked me if I understood the English word, "nerth". No, I said I had no idea what "nerth" meant. Then he explained that he got on well with Andrew and Doug because they liked to work with tools and make things. The rest of the kids liked books. "Nerths". Oh. I get it. Nerds. Thanks, Esteban!!! ;^)

Anyway, Esteban has an old moped that he hasn't been using. He gave it to the boys to work on and ride around and Andrew has made it his project. Like he needed another reason to be covered in dirt and grease and sand! Anyway, he's had the thing in various states of disassemblage for the past couple of weeks -- seems like just when he fixes one thing, something else quits. (Welcome to the real world, eh?)

Today Andrew came in and said, "Hey Mom! Check it out! I took apart the engine and figured out what the problem was."

Long story short, he had disassembled the crank case and found a sheared bolt had fallen in -- destroying the shifter, scarring the gears and breaking a couple of seals. He remade the seals (out of odds and ends, since we didn't have the right size o ring), cleaned out the crank case, replaced the missing bolts, repaired the sheared post and reassembled the whole thing...all by himself. I took this picture just in case he asked me to help him put the crazy thing back together.

Doug came home and looked at the bike and said, "Wow, Andrew. You are amazing." Andrew just smiled!!!


Gina Marie said...

Have you heard of the book How Am I Smart? by Kathy Koch? Your story reminds me of my son, who has his dad's engineering gene. He's constantly taking things apart! In that book she calls it logic smart. It's been a helpful resource for me to recognize my kids' strengths, especially when my six year old tells my eight year old how to spell things (good reminder for them too!). We're all gifted differently!

babymakers said...

Your son is exactly like my husband. Rick has always taken things apart and just been able to fix them since he was a small child. Things normal people can't see. He also is not a book reader. I just wanted to warn you about something that you may not be aware of that will be a problem. Since he is so hands on and and may not like to read then that will cause many Bible activities to be a struggle. He might be able to fix the pastors car, rewire the building and fix the speaker system but probably won't enjoy in depth hours of Bible study to lead a group with. He may also have problems doing this kind of sit down devotional time with his family someday. Things that have worked for my husband are Bible cd's, especially when traveling in the car, and preaching on discs. He would rather give me a book to read outloud, or even better just the "important" parts, then read it himself. He has tossed me pamphlets and books before and said "Tell me what it says." and then heads to the garage to tinker. It is just how these types are so be prepared. A blessing can be a curse if you don't guard your hearts. And btw... if he is really like my husband... he will ponder and want to debate some really odd doctrinal and Bible stuff that most other people would not think about if he didn't mention it.