Warning: This is an unabashed Grandma-brag—but it has a generally-applicable point as well.

One of my recurrent themes here is the truth that children can do and be so much more than we usually expect of them, from toddlers to teenagers. While our thirteen-year-old grandson's accomplishment is not on a par with commanding a captured naval vessel at the age of 12, nor with captaining a trading ship at 19, I'm quite proud of him—and his parents.


In his right hand is an oak board, similar to that from which he made the object in his left hand, which, when painted, will replace the barber-pole coat rack at a local barbershop.

When he approached the barber, who had advertised for someone to do the work, it took guts and skill to negotiate the commission, not to mention to persuade the barber that a young teen could do the job.

It was an ambitious project, and required working with some heavy-duty power tools—radial arm saw, lathe, planer, and jointer—knowing not only their operation, but proper safety equipment and procedures as well. It was a time-consuming job that required patience, persistence, and focus. That's pretty impressive at an age when many consider him too young to fly unaccompanied on a commercial airplane, to own a knife, or even to stay home alone.

He can cook full meals, too, and I don't mean just heating things up in the microwave.

Is he some sort of genius?  Of course he is, he's my grandchild!

But seriously, what distinguishes him the most from many young people is opportunity. His parents didn't just turn him loose among those dangerous tools, unprepared. He's been helping in the workshop (and the kitchen) since he was a toddler. So have his siblings. The kind of training that produces skills of this sort requires patience and persistence on the part of parents, too—and even more so, a willingness to stand up for the right of children to fly in a society determined to clip their wings.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 10:16 am | Edit
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Examples of the full meals include quiche and pizza completely from scratch, including the dough, with salad and side dishes.

Posted by joyful on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:15 am

And let me tell you, it was worth all the work (and that work did include tears, it's not like I'm forgetting) in training him in the kitchen from a young age to be able to say now, "Please make dinner on Thursday night. Quiche would be nice." (:

Posted by joyful on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:18 am


Posted by Eric on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm

I recall how stunned we all were when Cassidy, my youngest grandgirl, started backing bread from scratch. Completely on her own. Good bread. Better than the bread I'd helped her to make!

Posted by Grace Kone on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 12:29 am

Good work is always praiseworthy, and a welcome sight, but especially in those whom society has decided are basically incompetent (e.g. the young). Good for Cassidy!

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:33 am
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