The other night before bedtime, my youngest son used the pillows on our bed to make a small fort around himself. He commanded his brother to keep out, declaring the little space his work. Little bro proceeded to hold up an imaginary phone in his hand on which he tapped.
Another time, when leaving our home to go out, Little Bro packed a green lunch box-looking case, inside was his Cruz Ramirez car and its remote control. He also called this “his work.”
And anytime we go somewhere, upon our return home, our little man immediately takes his shoes off and gets right back to his cars, pushing them around the rug, parking them in even lines on the ottoman, and creating long lines of traffic on the ramps and garages our sons have all over the living room.
Our youngest loves to work. Without being told, he’ll sometimes open one of his pre-school workbooks and finish a few pages. Or he’ll set up the chessboard and ask us to play. He knows the moves and the strategy, but of course when he’s not winning, he gets irritated. He’s almost five. His work ethic may be revved up, but we’re still working on his sportsmanship.
What is that makes a kid so focused? Our eldest son, while a great worker, often times has to be bribed to finish homework. He certainly has his occupations, but on my casual observation of him, I now know what it means when someone “putzes around the house.”
Will they be stable hard-working geniuses? Time will tell.
Do they pick up work habits and skills from their parents? Sure they do. They absolutely see my wife and I pecking our phone screens, my walking off with a briefcase, the both of us on important phone calls. And they definitely see us in those idle times, when we accomplish so much doing nothing.
Either way, I hope that we’re laying the foundation for their future as individual contributors in the most important corporation of all: humanity.