what makes your eyes twinkle

Certainly the best performers can fabricate the starry eyed excitement we see generated when someone is genuinely enchanted with something.  Part of the beauty of kids is that any time Starry Eyes appears, you know it’s for real.  Their insides are *actually* jumping around inside of them and, as it is impossible to contain, they resort to running around the room like an inflated balloon released before it’s end has been tied.  Mmmm….good stuff.

Welcome to Friday morning at our house.  Fingers in the ears and wiggles all over breakfast.

Pancakes and Papa are a major highlight of our week and a consistent source of twinkling eyes and wiggly boys.  This Friday night deviated from the norm though.  Over for dinner and shortly before bedtime, Papa mentions that he’s been to a local store and has stumbled upon their remote control (RC) race tracks.  He reports that these race tracks fill at least half of their store space *and* you can rent an RC car if you don’t have one.  So, forty minutes before bedtime, we go “just to check it out quick.”  From the moment he entered, Little Boy’s eyes began to dance.

Like stepping onto the set of Disney’s movie, Cars, cars were whizzing by.  Remote Control cars went flying off ramps into the air, suspended for moments like magic before gravity remembered itself and yanked them back to the track.  Careening around corners, cars would crash into the 2×4 bumpers and go rolling, promptly getting smashed at high-speed by the next car coming around.  Cars flying, crashing, rolling, breaking.  Whoa.  sparkle sparkle.  twinkle twinkle.  Little Boy became a mouth-breather taking it all in.

Then my little car junkie entered an inner circle of his own heaven.  He and Papa rented a car to join the fray.  Taking it to the kids/beginner track, they sent the car careening over the edge of ramps, high-centering it on medians, plowing into the corners and hopping tracks…he was fully engaged.

Taking care of the immobilized cars are kids and adults, drifting in and across the tracks as they’re inclined, offering their services in crash-remediation.  Cars stuck on the bumpers, on each other, or on their own roof are attended to.  Most of them kids, they run across the track dodging cars, staying quite busy coming to the rescue of the stranded.

Finally our rental’s front wheel snapped loose and it was time to move on, but not without first showing me how really fun this was.

Now here is where Mom usually comes and puts the boring kibosh on staying up even later, doing more fun things, since we are now past bedtime and in my world, late nights = miserable crabby kids.   But…

no-can-do.  By the time we got to the slot cars, Little Boy’s voice was cracking and turning deep.  His little eyes were red with circles under them…but he *needed* to stay.  In his sweet voice, marred by the frogginess creeping in,  he asks at the wall of slot cars, “Papa!  Doesn’t this one look so interesting?  Look Papa, it’s red!”

A red Ferrari.  And he raced, and smiled, and raced, and smiled.    Eventually the Audi joined the track and the race was on.  A boy and his Papa pushing the magic buttons to make the cars go.

Late that night, getting ready for bed and half asleep, he tucked in with his usual…a car…only tonight he informed me they were his “remote control cars.”

And I admit that while watching this all unfold, in addition to reveling in the wonder and joy found as he and his Papa discovered this new world, I felt my own sense of wonder and also relief.  So often you hear of others’ children enjoying themselves in dance, swim, gymnastics, music and other classes.  While so valuable for many, none of these have been what Little Boy wanted or was interested in.  In the future he might find great joy in them, but I am here in today.  Today, I realized that my Little Boy doesn’t just like cars.  He is passionate about them.  Cars are what make his eyes sparkle, what make his tummy flip flop in excitement.  Who knows what that means down the road, but for now it means enough.  This is my queue to create opportunity where there is great interest.

I have a feeling we’ll be back.

Check out where we went!  We met Larry, so knowledgeable and friendly.  He’s doing great things here.



6 responses to “what makes your eyes twinkle

  1. Ginger Doll! I couldn’t wait for dad to read this wonderful post! I especially loved the mouth-breather comment! Lost in the moment! He IS passionate about cars. I predict there will be a lifelong love affair here!

  2. So fun Bee! You do such a great job of describing the experiences from your unique perspective in your special style. Your love for your babies is so precious to me.

  3. Soooooo awesome!!!!

  4. Ginger,
    There are tears in my eyes as I watch his joyous discoveries. A passion for cars and you live in MoTown! Is there a connection? It must be in the water.

    There is a time in every little life that passions become obsessions. I don’t use the word obsession in a bad light. I believe there is theropy in the complete emersion into one’s passions. They start developing as early as age 10 or 12 and develop even deeper by 15 or 16. Baseball, reading, crafts, music, adventure, you name it. And RC cars too! Suzuki method violin students can play sheet music at a very young age. But it becomes polished and exceptional starting at about age 15 or 16.

    The thrill of a machine as an extension of yourself is inescapably intoxicating. Be it a R/C racing car, or any vehicle, or a computer game, or an airplane, or a bobcat, or a backhoe, complete and total submersion into using the machine as an extension of your own limited capabilities is a thrill to experience. When you are ‘in-the-groove’ you don’t remember your name, your yesterday, your plans–you are in the moment totally and completely absorbed by the here-and-now.

    To watch someone with finely honed machine skills is fascinating. Ever seen a motor cycle do a front-wheel stand? Maybe a chain saw artist slice an old stump into an eagle? How about watching an experienced bobcat driver make the machine dance on two wheels? A back hoe operator can butter a slice of bread at 20 paces using the massive bucket. Wait until he experiences the thrill of taking the controls of a massive machine, like a bobcat, march up to a rock that weighs 10 times his weight, and lift it with one finger–using the power of a hundred men at the tips of his fingers! Intoxicating!

    Keep nurturing Ginger. These experiences are invaluable to unlocking the stored creativity that will become your little man. Someday he may be asked to move mountains. Using the seeds you sow today, he will succeed. Intoxicating!

  5. Good Morning!

    There are NO age limits on being a MotorHead!! 😉

  6. When Garth (my 18-year old Littlest) was little, he loved so many diverse things: postage stamps, dominoes, studying states with their capitals and state birds and state flowers, lining his cars up, music, organizing everything. When I asked him one day when he about 4 why he liked so many different kinds of things, he replied, “It’s easy, Mom. It’s because they’re all hooked together.” Revelation! He liked things that were hooked together. He now is at Drexel University studying international business (lots of countries hooked together) and has a passion for learning as many languages as he can (lots of words hooked together). You just never know…

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