One of the benefits of homeschooling is supposed to be that our children can learn to do anything that they please. They have the time become very good at any particular skill that they choose. “Let them develop their passions”, I read.
You know the story, I am sure. It is in the “encouragement” section of any homeschooling magazine that you pick up at the book store. A homeschool mom shares the story of her child that had an uncanny passion for blocks and taking things apart. The stars aligned, and the child went on to excel at math, earned a fabulous scholarship at a prestigious college, and became an engineer.
Yes! That is what I want for my kids. My son loved to play with blocks. He is good at math. He is going to be the next famous engineer that gets us back to the moon. (Were we ever there in the first place? Ah, that is for another time.)
So I encourage and tell him about all the wonderful things he could do as a/an (insert lucrative job here). I tell him that he has all the skills. I show him all the great clubs he could be in to develop those skills. This is supposed to work. All the homeschooling books and magazines say it will. “Why isn’t it working?”, I complain to my friends.
Now we come to my confession. My confession is that I wanted my son to develop the passion in something that fascinated me. Something that I thought would be advantageous. However, he developed a passion for something else entirely, and because it wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I didn’t think it counted.
Oh, it counts.
You see, The Sophomore writes stories. Lots of stories. I have read of few of them, but because I am overly critical I didn’t see what was happening until we were discussing his newest story in the car. I admit that I was impressed with his story line. Then I learned that he had written a time line for his story. A very long, detailed time line. I asked him if I could read what he had written so far. He asked me if I wanted to read the prologue first. Of course I did. Isn’t that where one should always start? You know what? It was good! I wanted to read more. His writing is improving.
I was telling my friend, Melanie, about this. I told her that he just had to take his story on the plane so that he could work on it. How he was worried that he nearly lost his story when he left his backpack in the taxi. She says to me, “Um, Tressa, you know how you always complain that your son hasn’t found his obsession? He has. Your son has an obsession with writing.” (I am paraphrasing here. That was basically what she said. I don’t remember it exactly.) He does?
She is right. He does. How did I miss that? Oh, I know! I was really hoping that he was going to have an obsession with biochemistry or orthodontia . Of course, that would have been difficult to take on the plane with him. Anyway, he doesn’t care much about those things. I suppose I should get over myself and acknowledge that I don’t get to pick what my kids love. I don’t get to choose their passion. I confess that I have not been very good at supporting his passion. I guess I need to work on that. At least I know that he loves something. He is passionate about his writing. Maybe someday I will get to blog that my son is published. Wouldn’t that be something?
It is also a good thing that still have two kids to influence. Hey, daughter of mine, look how much orthodontists make!
(Disclaimer: If their passion means that they have to live in my house until they are 30, they have to pick another passion.)