In the car on the way to school on Tuesday morning, Miles and I were talking about the most famous scientists, and why they were famous. We had this exchange:
Miles: Mom, I think Isaac Newton is famous because of his theory and proof of gravity.
Me: Yes, he’s pretty famous for lots of science things.
He’s into science now, you see; science and engineering have interested him for a while now, but lately science has become his whole life. He has a favorite scientist (Neil Degrasse Tyson) to way I
used to have a favorite Disney princess (Ariel). And it’s weird to have a child for whom I am no help at times. I know nothing about his favorite sciences (chemistry, biology, astronomy; I think currently in that order). The other day he impressed the hell out of a science teacher, and I’m like, “Yes. Science stuff and whatnot. Indeed.”
But I do know about soaking up reading like a sponge, and that. That is a thing he’s great at. He remembers long strings of numbers, and complex science things he’s read in books, and how plasma globes work — and naturally, can’t remember to wash his hands after using the bathroom.
We’ve started spending more and more time at the library, now that he has his own library card and has discovered there’s a huge section about science in the children’s area. The other day we argued about how many books he could bring home from the library — seven was too many, I said, because they were too heavy for him to carry in his library bag. Ne needs to be responsible for carrying his own things..
He responded, “That is true. I just want all of the books, because I love books so much.”
That, I understand. For a while it looked like maybe he just wasn’t into books; he owns a lot of them, but stopped reading anything other than Minecraft novelizations once he discovered those existed.
It turned out we just hadn’t found him the right books yet (other than Minecraft novelizations). We may never get him into fiction like all of his adults are — he followed that up with, “Especially non-fiction books about science,” — but at least I can guide him when it comes to loving books.
Whenever Miles goes into lecture mode, I like to turn to whoever it is who hasn’t known him for very long and say, “He was basically non-verbal until he was four, and now he won’t shut up.” I try not to say it loudly, because I never want him to stop thinking and imagining and wondering. I told him in the car (usually our longest time to have conversations), “I love your curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Curiosity is one of the most important human traits.”
He’s not a difficult child by any stretch. He obeys the rules, even when no one is actually watching him to make sure he’s only visiting the allowed YouTube channels. He’s kind. He’s affectionate.
But he is challenging. Miles’ mind wanders in a way I recognize, and he wants to tell you every single thought that passes through his brilliant little brain. (I expect if we ask my mother, she can confirm that she suffered this fate when I was young and would believe me to have earned this.) He can sometimes exhaust me, and his expectations of what I can provide are sometimes wildly unreasonable. His mood can swing (often into gross over-reaction) in ways I also unfortunately recognize. His single-mindedness can be numbing for us as adults.
But he’s seven and he’s amazing and he’s never difficult.
In the vein of how he used to be non-verbal, and now is not, I also like to look at the other ways in which he is very different but also the same. On that note, here’s some pictures of Miles compared to himself. Happy birthday, wee child. You are possibly the most spoiled wee child ever, but you will never want for love or support. ♥