Saturday, September 03, 2005

"It's Genius!"

I am watching a true craftsman at work, making another masterpiece. He's actually done this piece once before today, but he's re-creating it again, this time for my benefit.

"I'm doing this again so that you can see how to make it." Like a seasoned jeweler or sculptor, all of his materials are laid out before him, in clear view, none touching another.

As any experienced teacher would, he gives his student a role, a simpler part to play that is hard to perform incorrectly.

"You can put the mask on," he says to me. I do my best, and hand my work back to the master. My 4-year old son is pleased. "Good job, Dad."

For the past few months, Jonah has been spending large portions of his day in his room, crafting increasingly complex and beautiful works out of a myriad of LEGO sets. Today's creation is a Bionicle man, made from about a dozen different sets. Arms, legs, head, all are proportioned perfectly, which is not easy to do with the comic-book stylized Bionicle sets.

He's simply amazing.

About 2 months ago, Jonah brought something into my office during lunchtime. It was instantly recognizable as a horse, except it had a ball instead of a head. "That's his eye. He's a cyclops."

"Who made this?" I asked him. I was ready to be impressed by Timothy's work.

"I did," replied Jonah, without even looking up. He wasn't pleased with one of the parts, and quickly took it back to replace it.

I kept the horse and showed it to my wife the next day. She already knew. "Have you seen the dragon he made today?" I hadn't, but she had saved it, too. In ways many adults could not, Jonah made disparate parts line up to make a long, tapering, perfect dragon frame. Arms, legs, a head all worked fine. Even more impressive, this dragon had long spikes out its back. Nothing looked wonky, or out of place.

I tried to save them for pictures, but was too slow. Sorry.

For his birthday last week, Stephen got several LEGO kits, including two little cars. Jonah watched intently as his brothers built them. Then, after the bigger boys had moved on to other toys, Jonah took each car, disasembled it, and put it back together again.

Are we proud parents? Sure. Are we over-hyping this? Maybe. I thought so too, until the other day.

My wife and the boys were over at a friend's house, playing. They have Bionicles too. After a few hours, their older son, 8 years old, comes downstairs with something new Jonah had made.

Clearly excited, he showed it to the moms. "Look what Jonah made!"

"That's nice dear. Is it good?"

"Good? Mom, it's genius!"


At 11:03 PM, Blogger Curt said...

You might enjoy this:

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Becki said...

Yes, definitely, Jonah is definitely someone very special. People around him always say, "He's just in his own little world, isn't he?" and I reply, "Yes, we use to say that about his Dad, that he 'marched to the beat of his own little drum'". And if he's anything like his Dad, he will continue to grow into an absolutely genius of a man and he will make us all proud to be in his family :) Mom.


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