Friday, April 25, 2008

Our children's calling

A few weeks (months already?) ago, I wrote about the subject of passion in what we do. I thought of it today when reading an amazing blog post by Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse. I shouldn't be surprised. Anna has been a favorite of mine since I started reading blogs... not to mention the great recipes which came from her blog.

Anna shared the background story of how three of her children came to know their vocations by developing a passion for a subject... the cello for Clara, being an ornithologist for Felix, and for Giles... we should know as we love those gorgeous pictures he creates... photography.

At first the post made me think of my own children but then... my own childhood. Before my father died when I was ten, I remember his passion for building things... and beautiful flowers... nature... animals... and of all things, cooking. Not a lot of working class men cooked back then. He got off work before my mother and he was the one I most remember making meals and baking. I'm most like him. There are some ways I'm like Mom... but I seemed to inherit my dad's creative personality. I didn't get my passion for reading from either of them... probably some Kentucky ancestor was an author or something. :)

Christopher is an interesting mixture of both of his grandfathers. My husband's dad was a Union Electrician ... he excelled in the field of electricity. My dad did carpentry work. Christopher has been building things since he was a toddler. Well, he excelled in knocking things down and taking them apart at that age... but later he learned how to put stuff together. Then he went through that period when he had a passion for all things Weather Related. That was the year he was given weather almanacs and a Weather Channel tornado chaser video for Christmas. He also had that uh... Pirate Stage. We were glad nothing came of that.

We thought perhaps he would have a career in computers... having learned to program them when he spent hours (and hours) alone in Detroit with his "Computer Science student" online friends. (He's still friends with most of them.) He also built his own computer at one time. Instead of majoring in computers, he just wants to utilize what he knows for his real passion... building homes and such that are environmentally sound.

As for Stephanie, well... she excelled in a lot of things. She was scary smart. She was a great singer and a mediocre violin player (sorry!). I think perhaps she could have been a whole lot better at the violin but we had trouble finding a teacher in Iowa. She learned to cook very well at a young age (just like me). She was a great hostess even as a teenager. But what her primary passion became? She wanted to be Bob Villa (This Old House) so she studied Interior Design, which at the University is one of the degrees that feeds into Architecture.

For one thing, she wanted to learn skills that she could use when she was married and work out of her home if necessary. Besides that... she's really good at it. She has an eye for design... God given. I still remember the reactions we received when she told people she was going into Interior Design, even though she was a Dean Scholar. Over and over we heard the same words... what a waste of a brain.

I don't think so. Her family doesn't think so. Having homeschooled for many years I can tell you... her brain will get quite a workout. All her gifts came together for her present role of wife, homeschooling mom, deaconess, Bible teacher (at times), friend, hostess for church and her husband's students and faculty, not to mention when she has an opportunity to design once in awhile.

I loved Anna's writing because she talks about giving children time and opportunity to find their passion. Oh, how I miss those days when I learned so much from following the lead of my children. Even with their age difference and being raised in entirely different circumstances... they are very much alike. Don't tell them I said that.

But... what fun as we tried art, nature studies, science projects, music, literature (lots of literature), Lego's in all their various varieties, Cabbage Patch Dolls, hours in the kitchen, sewing, crafts, music (I don't sing but I'm a great listener), causes we were passionate about, Bible studies, coffee chats, getting hooked on certain TV shows, loving the same movies, skating with Dad (Stephanie), rollerblading as Mom watched (Christopher), tennis, learning to help with little brothers, enjoying hosting parties and Bible studies... and later those all night computer parties... life being lived one day at a time as the seeds of passion were planted and growing.

Do read Anna's blog post... she says it so well!


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Your passion is to have life, and have it more abundantly, Brenda. And you help your readers to share that...It's a ministry, I think.
I laughed when I read your son wanted to be a pirate. So did mine. And he named his first linux computer Pirata. (Well, he was in junior high then.) I am just reading Jim Lehrer's book Kick the Can about a boy who wanted to be a pirate. (That's a terribly poor description of the theme!) I just discovered his books and find them intriguing. Well, how's this for an all over the map comment! Have a joyful weekend.

Abounding Treasures said...

I so agree with allowing a child's own inner passion be the guide and after reading Anna's blog this afternoon and yours just now, I wish I had followed my initial choice and home-schooled our children, but alas, I can't change the past :O)

I worked with them in all sorts of ways before I would even consider allowing them to go to public school, so why didn't I just continue? It was so long ago, I can't even remember all the reasons myself!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Quinne said...

Hi Brenda :) Thanks for sharing a great post and for the referral to Anna's as well. You are a wonderful encourager! Love, Q

freetobeme said...

I so enjoy reading your blogs! I love it that you live in Iowa! I grew up in Iowa. We recently drove across Iowa going to and from Colorado, I felt like I was home!