Okay. Would you like to see something really cool?
My children have always amazed me. James is no exception. He’s loved putting things together since he was two. He received his first Lego when he was potty training. And he still treasures his Legos. They are organized in containers in the top of his closet.
He has a small nuts & bolts organizer for small pieces like heads, swords and bodies. And he has all of his instruction manuals in sheet protectors in binders. He says that he would grab as many containers of Legos as possible if the house caught on fire. And he would make as many trips back inside to get more until it was unsafe to do so. I believe him.
So, it was no surprise to me when he researched the components he would need, ordered them and began putting together his own computer … when he was 16. What DID surprise me was that he didn’t tell us what he was doing until UPS began delivering the boxes. What a lesson for me. Why didn’t he tell us? Was he afraid that we might discourage him? Was he unsure of our confidence in his ability to take on such a task? (Or was he hiding the idea because his main strategy was to create an awesome gaming computer and he knew we might not be pleased with his motivation?) I don’t know. What I do know is that in all cases, he was probably right. And that is very, very sad.
As I watched him put together the pieces and create a smooth running, fast operating, cool LOOKING computer, I was put in my place. I was wrong to have thought these things and am thankful that he hid his project until we could see the he knew what he was doing.
Our main family computer crashed about six months ago. James has graciously let us share his while we gather funds for him to build us a new one. This means that we currently have two monitors (our crashed computer’s monitor and his newer one). He’s such a bright guy. Because he built his computer for gaming, it has a special card that allows two computers to be linked to each other. The other day he was working on a photoshop project and realized that it is possible to put a tutorial on one computer and keep his project up on the other. So, he pulled the second monitor in and set it up. Now, you can even slide a page from one monitor to the other – it will literally leave one monitor and go to the other as the mouse drags it from one to the other. Is that cool or what?
I would take a picture of this cool trick, but I can’t right now. If you’re really computer savvy, you’ll notice that the monitor in the picture above and on the right has a little rectangle box floating on the black screen. That box says “Check Signal Cable.” That came up with I was cleaning off the desk for the picture to post and loosened some cable that I don’t even know how to locate. So, I can’t take a picture of a browser page half off one screen and half on the other, because one of the monitors isn’t working at the moment …. thanks to me. Are you sensing the stark difference between mother and son? Yep. The struggle is real.
Okay… I had to wake the boy up at 6:25 in the morning because I lost my tool bar in the disconnected monitor. NOW I can show you a page that is split between the two monitors.
I remember many years ago when our pastor’s wife (who homeschooled her children as we did) said that her job, her goal, her desire as a teacher was to “out-smart” her kids. She didn’t want to be smarter than her own kids, but rather wanted to instruct them so that they would have more knowledge than she had in most any subject. That struck me as odd, until I thought about it.
And I can certainly she that my son, James, has “outsmarted” me. He knows SO much about computers. He understands hardware and software, programs and components so much better than I ever will. And I’m so very proud of him.
Where do your kids “outsmart” you?