In the last week, both of my boys have gained a new skill. I have to admit they were skills that I thought they weren't ever going to flourish at since others seemed to have reached these milestones much earlier. I am happy to say that I have been proved wrong and it has served as a great reminder to remember that children do things in their own time.
Cole, who just turned 10, has always enjoyed playing with Lego but he preferred doing it with others and mainly enjoyed watching them put elaborate productions together. We have what seems like thousands of Lego pieces which sit in a big trunk and rarely get played with. If Cole did get a Lego set he would ask my husband to help him make it and Jim would be off for two hours while he put it together and Cole mainly watched. The fine motor skills needed for Lego were a challenge for Cole and he enjoyed playing with the finished product but was not able to complete the figures on his own.
My sister, who also has a son the same age as Cole, sent him a Lego Marvel set for his birthday because her son is currently enjoying a Lego building phase. I knew Cole would love the Marvel figurines and thought we would need to wait for Jim to get home from a business trip to complete the actual helicopter.
Imagine my surprise when Cole asked for some paper plates, a table, a chair, and a tray for the instructions so that he could set up a "Lego workshop.” He sat there for hours that afternoon and completed that first box. Listening to him focus on the task at hand, watching him get frustrated when he realized that he made a mistake and had to start over, are moments I will never forget. I was very aware that I was watching a developmental milestone in action.
Cole then proceeded to spend all of his birthday money on more Lego sets and has spent the last week at his Lego workshop table. Since Cole had friends who had reached this stage much earlier I thought it was one that had passed us by. I realize now that our children do things in their own time and how important it is to remain open to those opportunities to be surprised.
Tune in next week for In Their Own Time - Part 2, which features one five year old, one pair of goggles and two books.