Monday, March 17, 2014
The Matron's youngest child does not excel in school. He does not enjoy Book nor is he deft with Number. Indeed, Merrick resents both Book and Number if they are presented to him in that horror box called School. School is acceptable for its social elements, and great good friends continue to abound there. Much fun. But getting down to business? For this boy, learning comes from and means the body.
When Merrick was three, he was outside tooling about with a basketball. The across-the-street neighbor just so happened to be the city of golf pro -- yes, a PGA bona fide member. This neighbor marched across the street and grabbed the ball from the three-year-old.
Bona Fide PGA: "Mary. Pick one sport. I don't care which one but I pray it's golf. Let him play only that one and get him a coach. Do it now. I've watched this kid all summer and he's a million dollar bet."
Matron: "He's three."
PGA: "That's right."
You see, Merrick has un-matchable hand-eye coordination. Think yours is good? His is better. This means he is good at tennis, golf, baseball, yo-yo, basketball, shooting guns, archery, and drumming. He is now extremely good at tennis and drums, as these are the two places he's settled.
Note: you can live on tennis and drums (with a dog and a gun) without really requiring Book or Number.
The Matron wishes this were the beginning of one type of story, the one in wise (proud!) parents nurture their child's clear gifts, even at the expense of developing others -- the story in which the lucky child (so recognized, so adored) embraces said gifts with determination and joy.
This is not that story.
Matron: "Merrick did you practice your drums today?"
Merrick: "Do I have to to?"
Matron: "Merrick, it is time for tennis."
Merrick: "Can I skip?"
So the child that the drum teacher declared a genius at lesson two and who is sending 17 year old tennis players scuttling away in shame . . . doesn't care. There is not one driven, competitive bone in that beautiful body.
And so it was perhaps no surprise that during the car ride home from school, this actual conversation transpired:
Merrick: "Number three on my bucket list is to be in an Amazon bidding war for an item on sale."
Me: "OMIGOD. That's horrible!"
Me: "Because first 11 is way too young to have a bucket list and second because it's mortifying that a bidding war-- fighting while shopping -- would be on it.. . .. and what are numbers 1 and 2?"
Merrick: "I don't know yet. But if it will make you happy, I can guarantee they will be equally meaningless."
But he's happy! The Matron just wishes that truly was all that matters. . . .