Saturday, January 8, 2011

Raising a Renaissance Man

Not many people know that one of my favorite movies of all time is Renaissance Man. Danny DeVito, Marky Mark Wahlberg, Stacey Dash. I remember the first time I saw it was on "Hoosier Cinema 7" the IU Movie Channel (given its name by my friend Scott). The thing about the IU Movie Channel is that often the same movie would be on several times in a row, and I think I watched it 3 times in one night. I am a sucker for a story of how teachers can make connections with students and totally change their lives forever. Mainly, because I think I always hope to be one of those people that can make a difference.

In one of the scenes from the movie, Danny DeVito the teacher is talking to one of his students who had been a star athlete and had never had anyone expect him to do well in school. The student didn't want his son to play sports and have the same expectations. DeVito told him about Leon Battista Alberti, a renaissance man that was a scholar, painter, philosopher, priest, poet, and as it turns out, a good athlete.

One of my intentions as a good aunt, is to have Trevor experience a lot of different things, so that maybe he will be a modern Renaissance Man. We do attend and participate in a lot of sporting events, basketball, baseball, football, racing, but also swimming and golf. We go to museums, we cook, grow flowers, go to musicals, we make our own board games, and we read together. And this Christmas, I taught Trevor how to sew on my sewing machine. I don't know of many 9 year old boys who have had that experience, but he did great! There were a few bumps at first and a few mess-ups, but when I said "Drive it like you drive your go-kart" something seemed to click. He made 22 pillow cases as gifts for Christmas this year. He was so proud as everyone opened their gifts.

Trevor said he enjoyed his sewing project, and he said "it would be a good thing to do if you were bored". While I don't think that he will be a tailor, I'm just glad that he accomplished such a big project and did something that not many boys do. And, when he is raising his own sons, I think he'll make sure they get these kind of experiences too.

This is my Mom holding up the pillow case Trevor made for her. Notice the jigsaw puzzle fabric.