Monday, July 19, 2010

Feed Your Head

There is a scene in Pixar's Monsters, Inc. movie when Boo, the little human girl, is returned to her bedroom after her big, scary, unexpected adventures in Monsteropolis. She runs giddily from toy to toy, handing each one to Sully, her monster friend, to share all of her excitement of being back among her own things. It's a great scene, and I saw it play out in real life this weekend when Jacob returned home from sleepaway camp.

Gone for a week into the woods with the Boy Scouts, he hiked, went whitewater rafting, picked blueberries at the top of a mountain, swam in the lake, and did all those outdoorsy, boy things that boys do when they camp in the woods. No phones, computers or video games. No nagging mom or annoying brother. It was a 10-year-old's version of Heaven.

Until he got home. Tired, dirty, happy to be back in 'civilization' (i.e. where the microwave is), he moved from his books to his LEGOs to his piano to his Pokemon card collection to his video gaming magazines as if he'd been gone a year. He read the whole week's stack of newspaper comics that we'd saved for him. He played with the dog. He watched SpongeBob.

I've always been fascinated by Jacob's interest in, well, everything. Since infancy, he's been a sponge, soaking up everything from math to computer animation, from science to singing solos on stage. His interests are wide and varied, and he manages to balance them all. After a week of feeding his physical, outdoor, nature-focused self, he came home to feed his head. Reading, writing, playing piano, building with LEGOs. He did it all, and all before he'd been home for two full days.

He seems more mature than he did when he went away. I wonder how much of it is a new perspective on his place in the family, having been away from us for longer than he's ever been, and how much of it is a new perspective on himself. Perhaps it's a bit of both, having learned how to feed all of his passions, body and mind, and find contentment at home when he was through. Even with a nagging mom and annoying brother around.

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