Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another Lesson from Connor

Every night before bed I read a book to Connor. Sometimes he grabs a new one for us, but other times he cons me into reading the same book 37 nights in a row. (If I have to read Stephanie's mothereffin Ponytail one more time I'm going to shave MY head...) A few nights ago I was tired so I told him maybe he should read a book to me instead.

Connor practicing his Handstands

I love listening to him read. Hard to believe this is the same kid who, at age 2, still hadn't really started talking at all. We started to worry the older he got... not that we thought anything was seriously wrong, the kid was a sponge. I'll never forget his 2nd birthday when he got his first set of puzzles, he dumped them all out and put all three back together like he had done it a million times. But to not speak, not really even try, it just didn't seem right. His doctor agreed and a few months later he started an early childhood speech program once a week. They tested his cognitive skills when he began there and his scores were through the roof for a child his age. He just. didn't. talk. Didn't want to, didn't need to, didn't care to.

Fast forward to present time and it's hard to believe this is the same kid who didn't have a word to say a few years ago... today we have a hard time shutting him up. I can see the pride on his face after he figures out a tough word. Sometimes I'll tell him what it is when he's really struggling and he'll say "Thanks but um, let me try to figure it out."

So what's the moral of the story here? Draw whatever conclusions you like about persistence and hard work, but above all I think it screams the point that sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut. I'm convinced that the reason he was so smart is because he spent most of his time in quiet observation of others. When we always feel the need to spead our own knowledge, and for lack of a better term, flap our gums, we have a real hard time paying attention to what's going on around us. What wealth of information or new technique have we missed out on because we were too damn busy telling the world what we already know? I know I'm guilty of the same. We could all take a lesson from Connor on this one--shut your piehole and see what happens.

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