Thursday, May 3, 2012

Under the weather and my son

My little chick is not feeling so well these days.  Most of the symptoms look like allergies, but she did have a fever on Tuesday. We have some fun things planned this week, and we already missed out on something pretty neat.  Please pray for her healing.

My son, on the other hand, is doing great.  You know how kids go through spurts of growth?  Feet go through three shoe sizes in a week, ankles and wrists hang out of everything, the clumsies are out in force…  Well, my son is going through a different kind of growth lately.  While not neglecting the climb in height, he is also developing his …  Well, I am having a hard time categorizing it.

Tuesday he spent two hours on the couch with his dad watching a documentary on evolution and intelligent design.  Two important notes are that he watched it before on his own and the show is only an hour long.  The extra time came from pausing every two minutes to discuss the arguments various speakers made on the topic.  Yesterday while Brian was reading, Max went to sit with him and said, “Do you really want to read, or do you mind talking with me?”  Praise God Brian put his book down.  The men are listening to podcasts together, too. 

Max is reading The People of Sparks, the sequel to City of Ember and is truly bothered by the signs of war that are developing across ‘racial’ lines. He can’t seem to stop thinking about it. He analyzes characters, motivations and the roots to the hate that is escalating into violence.  He is truly saddened, but can’t give up seeing how it all turns out, so he keeps pushing on in spite of the difficulties.

These new developments in Max’s character and interests are so interesting to me.  He has always enjoyed logic and critical thinking.  He has a book on logical fallacies that he carries around with him and guffaws at, as though he were reading a comic strip.  He likes identifying examples of various fallacies in everyday life with the same glee with which he identified words on street signs when he was first learning to read.

The difference now is seen in both depth and breadth.  Rather than just spotting inconsistencies or creating ‘joke’ conversations, he now is pursuing the wisdom of his dad, wanting to share with me and experiencing grief as he sees how lives are affected by false thinking.  It is exciting and unexpected to watch this new side of Max emerge.  I find myself wondering how these new thoughts and perceptions will affect his future. 

It is also taxing in a new way.  Just as a physically growing child can put a dent in the clothes budget or increase the number of spills around the house, this growth also demands something from Brian and I: time.  He needs our undivided attention in a way that he hasn’t before.  Even as a child who required continual attention, the drain was never mental.  I mean, while running after a new crawler can be exhausting, it wasn’t brain surgery.  Now Max needs us to totally focus on his words and to respond with thoughtful wisdom and compassion. This stuff is important. 

Even if he doesn’t pursue the topics we are currently discussing beyond today, the test is still for us as parents.  We aren’t just teaching him about the human condition or apologetics.  We are teaching him that we care about MAX.  We are teaching him that he is important and that he can come to us and talk about anything—and we will care.

This is what is so pivotal to me.  I don’t want to screw it up.

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