My youngest son, Aidan is the stereotypical youngest of the family. You know the type; the baby, the center of attention, an easy going personality with endless amounts of emotional flexibility and accommodation. I have determined, based on my position as the mother of a large family, these personality characteristics, whether genetic or environmentally developed, equate to survival skills as the youngest of six. Very few situations rattle or deter him. A social butterfly; it could be said that everybody loves Aidan and Aidan loves everybody.
Last week was the first week back at school after a 10-day holiday break. Having just experienced the ultimate Lego Christmas, Aidan determined his first object for “Show and Tell” Friday would be a newly acquired Lego Ninjago Fighter plane. This Christmas marked a milestone for his development. Not only had he acquired his first really huge, ultimate Lego set, but he built it entirely by himself. A proud Lego enthusiast, Aidan was ready to share this accomplishment with his 2nd grade class.
I came back home after dropping Aidan at school on Friday and discovered the Lego creation, still in it’s bag ready for transport to school, sitting on top of the kitchen table. I felt a pang of disappointment for Aidan. Despite his best intentions he apparently was distracted as we left the house and left the Show and Tell object behind. A brief consideration to run the bag to school flickered through my mind easily dismissed by the logical conclusion that our home is a 20 minute drive from the school. “There is always next week”, I resolved.
Reunited after school, I quizzed Aidan about his day. He recounted the menu at lunch, reminded me he had “NO HOMEWORK!!” and chatted about his impending sleep over that evening at a friend’s house. I remembered the Ninjago bag and asked him if he had been disappointed he forgot it.
“No”, he said, “It was okay”.
“What did you share for Show and Tell ?”
“Oh, I just showed everyone the Coffee Grinder (a dance move) aaaannnd my little plastic dinosaur”.
“Your plastic dinosaur?”
“Yeah, I found it in the coat room before Christmas and it was still in my desk.”
And there you have it. A perfect summation of my son, Aidan, and the sixth child’s endless ability to adapt. Always ready to perform at a moment’s notice, Aidan is the physical embodiment of “The show must go on”. Forgetting his presentation that day, he could have passed on his turn. He could have fell to pieces, lamented his misfortune, or passed blame on to his mother who should have conceivably remembered to remind him that Friday was “Show and Tell”. Aidan didn’t waste time with any of that. Instead, he examined his resources and mustered up a “Show and Tell” presentation that capitalized on his opportunity to shine.
Aidan’s example is a handy lesson to remember as I Keep Calm and Carry On.