The other day I celebrated my 40th birthday. Never has there been a happier 40 year old. I feel so very lucky to have such a great family to share my life experiences with, to have such a beautiful wife and son to share life’s joy with is blessed. Jr was pretty happy with the whole affair too. He spends parts of every day in search of birthday cake. For him to actually find treasure is priceless. Even though it wasn’t his birthday cake (insert Jr doing his cute, sad face here with a sound clip of, “ahhhhhh” in the back ground); it was still mostly his and he didn’t mind sharing at all. Truth be told he actually likes the concept of birthday cake more than the cake itself. Once he has a slice in front of him, after a few bites he is pretty pleased to move on to the next big thing.
At my cake cutting ceremony besides my family were some close friends. Included amongst them were a couple of pals of Jr’s. All told including our Jr there was a two year old, a 3 year old and a 4 year old. They made a racket that made you go, “wow.” They also make you go wow in other ways. By the time they will be school age (5) they will all know or be able to;
- their colors and shapes in both Spanish and English
- count, also in both languages
- Jr’s friends will be Spanish-English bilingual and Jr will have basic Spanish speaking and comprehension skills
- some basic math skills like addition, subtraction and most likely some multiplication and maybe division too
- the alphabet
- rudimentary reading and writing
- spell their names
- paint, color and quite possibly draw some
- use scissors appropriately as well as glue
They will also all have some stage presence and experience and also athletic experience. Of course they will also possess some computer skills and be able to teach their parents how to use the remote control on the television! All of them will have travelled to multiple regions of both the United States and at least one other country. Speaking on Jr’s behalf he has already been on three continents and to both North American coasts. Barring complete disaster he will also be able to play the violin; which if you’ve been to one of his lessons is not completely out of the realm of possibility (complete disaster that is!)!
This makes me go wow. After all this is a skill set that goes beyond that of some adults I have met! At the very least it is beyond that of what I recall from my peer group growing up. They are also separated from many of their own generation by one thing, opportunity. Our children have had the opportunity to access early childhood education with supportive parents at home. They have always had available good nutrition and a clean, safe home environment. Jr’s artwork hangs about our house and there are always art supplies available (out and open) for him to use. Mom and dad are not musically inclined so we have sought sources of outside help to help educate both Jr and us in this ubiquitous discipline. He is allowed to help with chores and projects and hears yes, okay and sure often, even when maybe it makes more work for mom and dad. Learning tools and access to education are a big part of the process of education. In this small sample size it is hard not to have a little wow factor as per just how big a role they play.
Peace and love all.
Jr is in Europe this month. Of course he is not there alone. Mom and dad are travelling with him. Over the next month keep checking back in here at Dad’s Point of View for photo essays and updates as Jr storms Europe.