Well, my one and only child won First Place in the Zoology category of the Science Fair at his middle school this week. He chose to make an enrichment toy for dogs and test four variations of it using our teacup Pomeranian as the test subject. When I saw what he planned to do, I knew it was right up his alley as an animal lover, but thought it would be nothing more than an entry for him to avoid getting a zero. You see, my son is brilliant, but would be happier if he could do every assignment orally and not have to actually WRITE anything! Getting this project completed was like pulling teeth. Words can’t express how happy I was the morning I dropped him, AND HIS PROJECT BOARD, at the front door of the school! I really thought if he’d just open the door, I’d slow down and let him jump, just to get that thing out of my sight as quickly as possible! When he came home, beaming and proud as punch at his accomplishment, I realized it had been worth every bit of my prodding to make him try a little harder, and not just do enough to get by. What was worth it was the way this award shot his “esteem-o-meter” to the roof. He feels he isn’t one of the “cool” kids, so the recognition and cheers from classmates meant the world to him.
Yesterday, he had yet another announcement for my husband and me – his essay about his “dream” (in conjunction with MLK’s birthday) was one of five to be put on display at the school. I remembered the night he was working on it while I cooked supper, and asked me about the spelling of a few words. He did the paper completely on his own, and when I read it, I was really stunned at how adept my “baby” was at expressing himself. By the way, my Lego maniac’s dream is to create robotic prosthetic limbs for those injured in combat, accidents, or born with birth defects. The big idea is that its movement would be controlled by brainwaves that are monitored through a special helmet or headband worn by the user. If it can be done, William can find the way. He will probably base all of his research on the several seasons of Dr.Who he has watched repeatedly over the last year! He is a true “Whovian“, with Whovian spirit!
Today, he told me on the phone that he had another surprise for us when I got home. WIlliam will only tell us his news if we are seated together and he has our full attention! When we sat down he produced a certificate for being on the Honor Roll which he was presented with at the Honors Assembly today. The big deal about that was he wasn’t on it first quarter, but through some hard work and extra practice, he made an “A” in that subject this time around.
Yes, we are proud parents because we are beginning to see our child “bloom”. William is much like Leo from the children’s book, Leo the Late Bloomer. In that story, the dad keeps wondering why Leo isn’t doing things at the same time the other little cubs are learning the skill. Mother just keeps calmly saying, “He’ll bloom in his own time.” And he does. He takes off in leaps and bounds. Looks like Will is going to begin to be comfortable in his own skin after all.
If you have a “late bloomer” of your own, or even if you are the late bloomer, be patient, loving, and supportive (even with yourself). It will give that child the safety and security to keep trudging forward, knowing he/she is accepted and supported, just as they are, at that point in time. One day you will stop and realize they aren’t trudging along anymore, but moving in leaps and bounds toward new goals, recognizing their own potential for success. You will fold your arms and sit back with a smile saying, “That’s my boy!(girl)”