Tuesday, September 29, 2009

about AJ

As we walked along the beach, AJ stopped to pat yet another dog and talk to its owner. He was quiet for a while after that and then suddenly announced "I think I'll be a vet when I'm older". I said "ok". Then he asked what he would have to do in order to be that and I spoke about going to University, the little bit I knew of Vet studies from a friend who had started going that route, and what the work would involve. He was quiet for a while and mulled things over.

AJ has always been a "thinker". When he was two his favourite book was one one airplanes - it showed cross sections of large planes and detailed photos of engines and other technical stuff. He prefered books that had photos of real things, not drawings or cartoons. When he was three he knew his way around the computer well enough to turn it on and off properly and get to fun games on the 'net. He likes to observe people and animals and things and has incredible patience when he is watching animals or trying to grasp some new bit of knowledge. He'll often see things from a different angle to how I see them, or will see some fine details I never even noticed. He's never in a rush and takes his time in life....whether it's a game or a meal that may take him an hour to finish as he often wanders around in between taking bites as if food was just something to just fuel his body, not a big deal. He's always had that approach, even when he was nursing. He is usually very gentle and sensitive and considerate, and sometimes we see a very fiery side when he feels wronged like when his chatterbox brother keeps interrupting him.
When he was 7.5 yrs, he started reading. Just from years of being read to and a recent interest in learning it for himself, and also asking some questions about what different letter combinations were. One moment I was reading him a story then he suddenly said "now let me read to you". And he did. He loves joke books and currently has a huge pile of them out from the library. He loves to read jokes to us all in the car whenever we go anywhere, even if it's a 2 minute trip. It drives Summer batty as some of the jokes aren't all that funny and a lot of them I need to explain the humour behind the joke, but I love that he likes to try and make us laugh.

Obviously AJ has been giving thought to what he wants to do when he is older. So in the past two weeks, he's explored the Vet option a little more, also - becoming a pilot and owning a large jet, a small aircraft, two helicopters, an army jet, and (something else, I forgot). Also, doing animal rescue and being able to care for the animals on his farm; owning an internet company and inventing some new tools to assist everyone who uses the net (he specifically mentioned some ideas); being an explorer - he is particularly interested in the Bermuda Triangle at the moment.

During the course of all of these ideas, with him wandering around with me as I pull weeds or hang out washing, a constant excitement in his voice as he talks to me about how he could do all of these different things, I brought up the subject of where he might want to live. He seemed shocked to think he would ever possibly want to live anywhere else except near me. Summer and Nicholas were around for that conversation and they agreed that they were also going to stay with us. I suggested that we get a big bit of land and we can all have our own area so AJ can keep his animals safe in his bit while Nicholas rides motorcycles around his bit and Summer and I have big vege gardens, fruit trees etc.

Then that sparked off many days of them each planning their own houses, how to build it - what are the options?, who is going to build it, how big, how many rooms, basement?, garage, etc. What they are each going to call their places and so many other details. I love unschooling and how one idea leads to another and how much freedom there is in exploring each option until they are ready to move on! And I love that, even knowing my faults, my kids still love me and want to stick around for a very long time. (At the moment anyway, I am fully aware that that may change.)

I can learn a lot from AJ, especially his patience. In some ways we are very similar. Both Aries, both born in the year of the Snake, both of our blood runs cool and we prefer the warm weather, we both prefer simple food. I was a very fussy eater when I was a kid, as is he, so I've never made a big deal of it for him. Where he is a thinker, I am a feeler. I too, can be very fiery when provoked although I am mellowing with age, or maybe, finally, a little maturity. He is very much in the moment and aware of so much more than a lot of people give him credit for. I can easily drift into that feeling of being Present when I slow down and allow myself to just Be with him.
AJ loves to play with his sister and brother, but if Summer doesn't want to play, he'll annoy the heck out of her to get any kind of attention from her. That has been bothering me as I want her to feel comfortable and safe in her own home but sometimes he just pushes her a bit too far. I needed to write this to remind myself of some of the wonderful things that AJ is. I'm glad I did.
Life is full of so many exciting opportunities....no boundaries in the mind of an unschooled child!


Miranda said...

AJ rocks! I'm so glad we have the internet and our blogs so we can keep up with each other and the kids as they grow. Maybe I like AJ so much because he reminds me of another Aries I know who shares his birthday! ;-)

TheOrganicSister said...

so cool! and he doesn't have to wait til he's older either. he could work with animals now. lots of vets will take a kid as a kennel assistant; so will some shelters; so will some dog owners.

i love the bit about the houses you'll have, too.


Annette said...

Yeah, it's a pretty great day for a birthday! I'm also glad that we can keep in touch via our blogs.

We've checked with the shelters here and he has to be 16, but we're looking into another option and will blog about it if it works out.