Today’s Share is of Jeremiah, who is days away from turning twelve.
For me, this image encapsulates Jeremiah as he is today, on the figurative eve of huge changes. It was taken by my sisterfriend, Sylvia, at the Northeast Unschooling Conference, just over a week before Jeremiah’s twelfth birthday. He was sharing his newly-acquired DSi with Sylvia’s son, his best friend Harry, who is seven.
Miah, as he finishes his eleventh year, thinks that girls make good friends, and that, just maybe, he might someday soon be interested in them in other ways. He feels it approaching, but he’s not in a hurry. He’s got plenty to focus on.
His big love is science. He’s innately adept at physics, finds chemistry intriguing, and is passionate about technology – particularly, the technology of gaming.
We live on a modest income, and technology is a sometimes expensive passion. When Jeremiah wants something, he researches it, and if the want is worth the cost, he might negotiate for an advance on his allowance, or do some extra things around the house for pay. The summer he was 9, he arranged to work several days for his grandfather. He set up his clothes, lunch, and alarm the night before, was never late, and did as he was asked, taking only the breaks he was offered, and he learned a good deal about building, plumbing, and yard care.
He did this to earn the money for a 3DS, which we had offered as a Christmas gift, but which he was determined to purchase, in-store, in his chosen color, on his tenth birthday.
And he did.
Sometimes, a new acquisition takes a little extra time, because he tends to be generous with his resources, and buys things for his sister and his friends.
Jeremiah is generous by nature – with his time, his affection, his attention, his smiles, and his laughter. He’s willing to help around the house and yard, willing to hug his parents and sister – even in public, even though he’s nearly as tall as me. Tokens of sweetness and love are something he offers daily, and intentionally.
At the conference, Jeremiah had some spending money – most afforded by our budget, along with a little he saved himself. He decided to spend most of it to buy this DSi and a few games from a friend. In turn, he sold one game he didn’t want (along with his generosity, Jeremiah has a keen sense of personal economy!).
Jeremiah is even-tempered, and tends to consider things carefully before acting. After he’s made his choice, he is inclined to look upon his choices in positive terms, and to enjoy what they bring to his life. He didn’t regret the inability to buy other things during our trip; he made peace with his decision at the outset, and spent happy hours playing alone, with friends, and sharing with others.
In the picture, he’s in a familiar role -games mentor for a younger child, being generous with his time, his knowledge, and even his new treasure. His hand on his buddy’s shoulder, invites him in, lets him know he’s wanted and welcome.
Jeremiah does have that way about him, of welcoming others in a gentle, friendly, unassuming way – and making life warmer and sweeter just by being here.
Just as he’s done for nearly twelve years, now.
He’s straddling the edge of the divide between child and man, now. I can hear it in his voice, and in his ideas. I can see it in a leaning-out of his face, and in the ways he chooses to spend his time.
Sooner than seems possible now, he will be a man, a man grown from this right-now boy. So, today, as I smile at this picture, I remind myself to to see him, not as the child he has been, or the man he will become, but as he is right now…
Do you have specific images or memories of your own or your children’s growing up, or ones that seem to capture perfectly who they are or were at a certain point in their lives? I love when readers come to share bits of their lives, because then we all get the chance to know one another better in the sharing. =D
- A Passionate Ahhhhh: ROW80 Update, August 28, 2013 (shanjeniah.com)