Thursday, June 30, 2011

Parenting the Gravitationally Challenged

My son, Matthew, is not a klutz, per se. But there are several times in his childhood where he has neglected to take gravity into account. Just a couple examples out of many experiences:

2 years old: Matt is outside, it's dark. My father is helping me outside. Matt looks up and leans backward to see the sky. He's on the top of three concrete steps. He falls over backward on his head, points up and tells grandpa: "Look! Stars!"

6 years old: Louisa finds Matt walking in circles out by the new swingset/sky-fort. He's confused, Louisa gets me. He's got a bump and grass stain on his forehead. ER, cat scan (yes, now we can show him he has a brain--use it)....conclusion: Matt sort of remembered falling out of the sky fort reaching for the fireman pole. He didn't remember landing.

16 years old (yesterday): I'm down at my office, Mary calls:

"Uh, Joe?"
"Yes, Mary?"
"Matt's over at Glen V's place. He had some car trouble. Apparently the car acted funny, so he was turning into Glen's place when the car died on the road. He got out to push the car to the side of the road. But he couldn't figure out how to stop the car from going into the ditch. Glen's getting him out. You don't have to do anything. Just thought you should know."
"Uh, thanks. I think."

Inside I was thinking about what it might cost.

Matt gets home driving the car he ditched!
"What was wrong?"
"Dad, my gas gauge doesn't work right. That's all."
"Not really, what about the ditch and stuff?"
"Glen got me out and gave me some gas. Well, once the car got rolling, I decided I probably shouldn't try to stop it by jumping in front of it."

Maybe he is learning about gravity, some....

Thank you, Glen. I know that Matt's not the only one of our family to run out of gas at the end of your driveway this year. Thanks for helping him and for helping me....

If you want you can see where he pushed the car into the ditch just east of Glen's driveway.

1 comment:

Alexander Ring said...

When I teach physics, I tell kids, "We're about to learn some rules that not even teenagers can break." Gravitational constant would be one of those.