It is summer, and with summer comes that certain sense of freedom in the days that stretch before us filled with possibility. It is like that one gift under the tree that hasn’t yet been opened. In all honesty, I like the idea of that feeling of possibility, more than anything the package could actually contain.
Summer is like that… if you approach it the right way; like an unopened present or a wonderfully long snow day.
We work to have some of that feeling every day for H, during the school year as well. That is a part of the reason we choose distance education to support us in home schooling our boy. We want him to have the freedom of possibility and the place and space and pace so that he has the resources to pursue his interests. We want him to have the room to explore, create, and problem solve with his inventive mind and curious nature, to succeed and to sometimes fail, and to practice the skills and attitudes of self-determination.
Today, on a day that I think is entirely too hot to choose such a workplace, H is tucked away in the garage. I smile at the rhythmic, metallic clang and pounding, eventually followed by the lovely squeek-swing-bang of the screen door, chased by the tapping of his shoes on the back stairs. At our house… this is the music of invention.
H comes in, exuberant, and very warm… and sooo proud it fills the room:
“I am a Mini Blacksmith. Look Mom! Look what I made!”
After H had cooled down a bit with the generous help of a popsicle… he explained:
“I made this the same way all blacksmiths do it. I heated up the nail a bit with a hand torch, which is a small butane welding torch, and I used a small hammer and anvil and pounded it until the end was flat. Then I had to cool it down in water. It hissed as it cooled. I learned how to do this by researching it on the internet.”
I must concur with the blacksmith… it was a good day.
And now, in the cool relief of evening, I’m reflecting that a butane fueled torch isn’t going to cut it for long, and that H may eventually need a full size anvil and a larger hammer if he is going to work with the three-foot piece of steel that he recently acquired for his next project…
But my job in this, and it is harder than it seems, is to sit back and let him figure it out…
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)
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