Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Excitement for Thing 2!

There have been a lot of posts recently about Thing 1 and all the exciting things she's been doing - getting published, getting her books carried at our local bookstore, getting her first job . . .

Well, this post is about Thing 2 and some exciting things going on with him. He started volunteering at the library today!

Thing 2, on his first day of volunteering

Ready for his first shift!

He has been antsy to do something like this for a while. He's been seeing Thing 1 work, volunteer, babysit . . . and he's been wanting a chance to do some responsible things like that as well. They both work in our business and have since the very beginning, but it's good for them to have things outside of that, too, that they get to do themselves.

When we were reading the state labor laws about work hours for kids under 16 (you can be hired by some places at 14 with some restrictions), we noticed that 11 year olds could get a paper route! So, we called several local papers and even though the law says 11, they all require their deliverers to be at least 12 and, in some cases, 13. This was a disappointment to find out. It seemed like all signs were pointing to "wait until you're 12."

So the other day, when we stopped at the library to sign up for the summer reading programs, we noticed a sign up saying that the library is in need of volunteers. We know they require their volunteers to be 12, but wondered if they would make an exception given that they're in need of help. So, on the day of our town's outdoor festival while we worked our business's booth, we walked over to the library's booth (they had just come over to recruit our kids for a photo shoot they're doing to help "geek the library") and asked. They immediately nodded, smiled, and readily took us up on our offer when we told them that Thing 2 would like to help out and pick up a shift. They're excited to have him! We let them know that he'd be able to start the week after Thing 1's writers' camp.

Well, today's the day. He got himself up and ready and told us how excited he is. My sweet husband wrote a thoughtful note for him and left it on the counter so he'd see it at breakfast. We got there early today to fill out paperwork and Thing 2 told them that he's really excited to work there. He gets to train while working with his sister. Once he feels pretty comfortable, he can either continue to work the same shift as her or get his own shift if he'd like - the choice is his.

He has other exciting things going on, too - a science camp, for which he is VERY excited; normal kid stuff like playing at the park and pool (simple pleasures - just this past week during Kate's writers' camp, he got really excited about having a packed lunch because he "loves them" and was feeling a bit left out of the packed-lunch fun); and major excitement about attending the Renaissance Faire.

He is working SO hard at earning his 2nd degree black belt. He earns that this fall. He loves going to taekwondo and has no problem dropping most anything he's doing to attend a class. He likes the challenge of it. He likes learning it and earning it. He likes the workout. He is a natural leader and enjoys helping others. He enjoys (and is good at) teaching younger kids. They gravitate toward him and look up to him.

He's completely at ease with adults, too. He talks to anyone. The other day at taekwondo, Mark was wondering what was taking Thing 2 in the waiting room. Turns out? He was chatting it up with everyone in there and cracking jokes and making grown men cry tears though laughter. True story.
Our new next-door neighbors have kids (thank god!) and it's great because Thing 2 loves, loves, loves to play with others pretty much 24-7. Well, both the kids' parents and grandparents, independently of each other, have said to us how much they like our son and what a great kid he is. The parents told us how they've overheard him teaching their kids his version of games and how creative he is and how their kids LOVE when Max shows up to play (they really do get excited and they're constantly asking us if he's coming out to play). We were out walking Scout the other day and their grandfather was over and he and his wife both spoke to us and complimented us on having such a fine son and went on and on about how responsible and well mannered and thoughtful and smart and kind he is and that you don't see that very often nowadays and that he is really such a super, terrific kid. What parent doesn't love to hear that?!? It was great to hear. We feel very lucky indeed.

He is insatiably social. It is not at all uncommon for us to be at a park or the beach or a store and for him to say, "I'm going to go over there and make a friend." And he does. Within seconds. It is so easy for him, or at least he makes it look easy. Within no time, he has made several friends and organized them all into a game of tag or something he's made up and taught them. And the kids are always happy to meet him and play with him. They should be. He's a terrific kid and they're lucky to get to know him and be with him. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is helpful. He is smart. He is thoughtful. He is funny. He is creative. He is, in short, pretty amazing. And, I get to be his mom! Again, how did I get this lucky?!?

Yesterday at dinner, we were sitting at the kitchen table and he kept cracking us up. We were all in hysterics, especially his sister. He excels at making her laugh. And then they feed off of each other and it's "peanut gallery funny hour," which often escalates into spit takes, fits, and tears of laughter. They can be snarky, sarcastic, and both are *really* quick witted. I love having intelligent, hilarious kids. We love to joke around. And he is a pro at lightening moods. He has always given our family a good dose of funny and I think we need that sometimes. He teaches us. We learn from him.

The other day when we were at the bookstore, I was talking with the owner and Thing 2 came by on a mission. I asked what was up and he responded, "Oh nothing. I'm helping a customer," and continued on and grabbed a book (The Day the Crayons Quit) that he then recommended to a grandmother who was there with her grandchild. The customer proceeded to sit and read with her adorable 4-year-old grandson who informed me that he just knew he was going to like the book because Max told him it was good.

And the volunteering thing? Well, he's loving it. We just got a text from Kate that says that Max is wondering if Mark and I could go to the library early and check something out (a book, movie, whatever). He is apparently loving working the front desk. So, we're off! We get to go see our awesome kid in action. LOVE THAT KID!!


Dr. Mark said...

Great post about a fantastic kid! I'm really proud of all the things he's doing and all the responsibility he's taking on. He naturally relates to people and makes them feel like friends. He'll be great at the library, and based on the reactions from staff after his first day, he already is!

Way to go, Thing 2!

And way to be a supportive and helpful sister, Thing 1.

It's just awesome to see them grow up together. How did we get to be so lucky?!

Siths and Jedis said...

I really liked the post. Thank you for saying all of these nice things about me!

The Magic Violinist said...

He's a natural! :) It took me weeks to warm up to the flow of things there, and he was able to do it in less than two hours! Bridget and I are glad for the help.

Emily Foley said...

That is just great! Way to go Thing 2! It is really exciting to start doing things of your own when you're the youngest and have been watching the older sibling(s) do things before you. I bet he's going to be so great at it all.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Great post. Brings me to tears. Thing 2 is a wonderful young man! I am thrilled to hear he is volunteering! What an asset he will be to the library.

We are constantly trying to figure out how you raised Thing 2! Can you bottle whatever you did? We'll pay. We hope our son will learn to be as generous, kind, and loyal as your son is.

And gosh, I can't imagine the hole in our lives if we hadn't gotten to know Thing 2. He has changed things in our lives in ways he will never know. Thank you Thing 2!

And at the risk of embarrassing him, he's pretty handsome, too.

LMW said...

How awesome!! You've obviously got two incredible kids!

Anonymous said...

Volunteering at a library sounds like fun! Good job, Thing 2!

Jimmy said...

He sounds like so much fun to have around. And it doesnt' hurt that he has an awesome sister and great parents.

Dave Johnson said...

The library staff there LOVES our homeschooled kids. It's so cool that they have that kind of opportunity so close to home. Rich is anxious to get back to it (so erratic over the summer with our transportation situation). He misses Moria and just seeing all the people. I wonder if they'll ever let them work the same shift? Congrats to Maxim for jumping in to volunteer!

Boquinha said...

Mark, RIGHT?!? I love our family!! You and me - we're a good team. :)

Thing 2, you are very welcome. I love you so much!

TMV, awwww, that's so sweet! I think it helps that you're there to help train him. :) I love that you three are working together!

Emily, right? Those kinds of opportunities and experiences are so important and fun!

72fishes, awwwww. You are so kind. YOUR comment is making ME cry! Thank you. I love and cherish your comment - what sweet sentiments. And I think he's pretty handsome, too. ;)

LMW, thank you! They are some of my very favorite people. :)

Nevillegirl, it is! Thank you!

Awww, thanks, Jimmy! He is a ton of fun!

Dave, thanks - he is really enjoying it!