Tuesday, September 15, 2015

icebergs and other snags

We are in a new phase of infatuation here in the Hladky house.  It is mostly Isaac's infatuation, but, when he is all about something, we ALL experience the gusto.  Most of the time, I don't mind.  It's fun to learn about things that aren't necessarily on your radar of fun.  I have come to find ultimately, as a mom, I have no choice.  If you can't beat em', join em'.

Isaac's love of all things transportation has gone from a summer of steam locomotives and Amtrak to the sea.  We are all about ships here, and one in particular:  The Titanic.  

It was fun at first. I love history, and so when Isaac expressed an interest in knowing more about the RMS Titanic, we did our research:  One of the White Star Line steam ships, built in 1909, launched 1911, and sailed its one and only voyage April of 1912.  On the 14th, at 11:40 pm, the ship hit an iceberg and sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later. 

Of course, Isaac wanted to know more.  How did the people die?  How many people died?  What did the ship look like? How many tons was it?  Can we see what it looks like at the bottom of the ocean?

The journey for information continued.  I allowed him to watch a few videos on the rise and fall of the Titanic.  He began quoting random numbers and statistics I couldn't verify.  "Where did you hear that?" I would ask.  "Trust me, Mom,"  he would answer.  He would bring home sketches and drawings of the Titanic.  He would reenact scenes and a play-by-play of the ship's sinking by filling up bowls of ice water (it had to be filled with ice because, well, icebergs) and using pencils as the ship because it would have to break in half--one half sinking and the other floating until it too went under.  We have no more unbroken pencils in the house.  (Oh, we need those to do homework?) 

He has made me watch numerous Titanic videos on YouTube Kids--some of actual model ships, built by men from Germany with WAY too much time on their hands--only to be sunk with Go-Pro cameras attached to their hulls so my son can see first hand what that would look like.  Isaac's eyes would get big and he would jump up and down "Mom!"  I put a hand up and closed my eyes. "Nope.  We are NOT building a model ship and sinking it."  He used LEGOs instead.

Speaking of LEGOs, we have watched videos of stop-action animation using LEGOs to create a true-to-movie reenactment of the James Cameron film.  I'm not kidding.  There are videos out there, folks.  We have watched the actual sinking sequence from the movie, Titanic.  Until you judge me as a parent for allowing my child to watch such a horrible scene of lives perishing, please know, we also watched it IN REVERSE, so Isaac could see the ship being put back together, and the people surviving.  Thanks, YouTube.  

I thought this would somewhat pass.  I had hoped that feeding the information monster would quench the hunger...but it just seems to be taking over.  It's all he talks about; all he wants to discuss and play.  I have had to tell him, "Isaac, I don't want to hear about the Titanic right now, okay?"  

I knew it had gone too far when Isaac was making his bed this morning.  I was pouring myself a cup of coffee in the kitchen when I heard him humming "Nearer My God to Thee."  (For those of you who don't know the song's relevance to the Titanic--Google it, and you'll know.)

 As I stood, leaning against the kitchen counter with my coffee, I tried to think of what I could do to get his mind off of the Titanic because frankly, I was sick of hearing about it all.  Then...I thought...how many times have I gotten stuck on something that I haven't been able to shake or stop thinking about?  How many moments have I rammed into an iceberg of thoughts that have steered me off course of what I should have been thinking?  I'm sure God didn't tire of hearing me hum "Nearer My God to Thee" when I just couldn't see a way out...

They're a common infatuation, sinking ships...

Isaac's Titanic is familiar to me, because I have similar infatuations.  I can get caught up with worry, or doubt.  I can get fearful of the unknown.  I can look in the mirror and get stuck on how I don't measure up--how my child doesn't measure up--to the expectations surrounding me.  I play "video" in my head of how I know things are, yet I force myself to watch it IN REVERSE to see where I made the mistake and went wrong.  

Being passionate about something is very different than an infatuation.  Isaac is passionate about ships and facts and events, and his imagination is drawn to create.  His passion is a part of the bigger picture of how he thinks and sees and interprets.  He can have time to imagine and create, but we can put a limit on that time and allow him to transition to something else for awhile--have balance.  I can help him to continue to be passionate about his perspective, but not allow it to be all-consuming or detrimental to his social behavior or well-being.  

The same can be said for myself.  I need to guard my heart and mind from infatuation--but encourage it in passion.  Just like Isaac loves facts and statistics, I need to love what is real and true.  I need to be careful that I don't allow feelings to overshadow what is really taking place, or who I am created to be--or who Isaac is created to be.  

I bought a new box of pencils yesterday.  I am sure they will be encountering icebergs later this afternoon when Isaac gets home...but we won't be sinking anytime soon.  

One of the many drawings of RMS Titanic Isaac has made--this one is framed in his room
I think he did a great job! 


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