Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Aidan and His Work

Ever since his older brother moved to Oregon, young Aidan has taken upon himself the job of bringing the garbage bin and recycling bin up to the road for pickup.  It's not an easy job!  The driveway has a steep slant and the garbage bin is BIG!   But snow and ice do not stop our little worker. 

This is what Kevin brought me to see from the window of his home office.   You could tell by the evidence that Aidan had already been toiling for a little while. 

See the recycling bin already at the top?

The icy slope and weight of his burden brings him down, but he gets up again

He is undaunted. 

But it's still a long way up there. 
It's always hard to know what to do about these developmental imperatives.   He struggled for several minutes, falling down more than once.  One time the garbage can fell on top of him.   We didn't want to go "save the day" for him, but he was starting to really drag (he has motor impairments) and we didn't want him to taste failure either.

I thought of this story Montessori told, about an infant, but applies even more to a  special needs12 year old:

Once in our public park in Rome, the Pincian Gardens, I saw a baby of about a year and a half, a beautiful smiling child, who was working away trying to fill a little pail by shoveling gravel into it. Beside him was a smartly dressed nurse evidently very fond of him, the sort of nurse who would consider that she gave the child the most affectionate and intelligent care. It was time to go home and the nurse was patiently exhorting the baby to leave his work and let her put him into the baby carriage. Seeing that her exhortations made no impression on the little fellow's firmness, she herself filled the pail with gravel and set pail and baby into the carriage with the fixed conviction that she had given him what he wanted.

I was struck by the loud cries of the child and by the expression of protest against violence and injustice which wrote itself on his little face. What an accumulation of wrongs weighed down that nascent intelligence ! The little boy did not wish to have the pail full of gravel; he wished to go through the motions necessary to fill it, thus satisfying a need of his vigorous organism. The child's unconscious aim was his own self-development; not the external fact of a pail full of little stones. -- from THe Montessori Method, p 355
But I also know that Aidan, being in the stage of pragmatism, also really wants the job done.  His desire to "do it himself" is mediated by his desire to "get it done".   It's a balance between supporting him and just taking over.  

Finally we decided the symbolism would work better if we asked his older brother Kieron to go help him.  Brothers are different than parents.    I think that because Aidan is always trying to imitate older people, and hears me request help from his siblings, he thinks that giving orders is part of getting things done, too. 

Aidan is still supervising

But he trusts Kieron to get the job done.

He was so proud of what he had done and when he saw the pictures his Dad and I had taken he looked at them over and over again!    Whew!   I hope he gets the message that he can do what he sets out to do, but that he has a family that will be there for him, too!


  1. I love this photo journaling!! Words like this remind me that God always picks the parents just right for each kid.
    God bless Aidan and his work!

  2. What a good work ethic Aiden has! Enjoyed the pics and the story, thanks.

  3. today no wednesday the coolers going to metmarket look at the fans then the coolers goling to get som met then the coolers are going to cook the met in to the oven then the coolers going getit out of the oven then the coolers are going to mass at tac friday the coolers cant aet on 7 the coolers have to stop aeting then the coolers paly mariokart dule dash the coolers are going to moove thcoolers are goinlg see lost the coolers are going to get diet coke for dad the coolers get 7up for efebute but the diet coke is for dad

    by Aidan

  4. An amazing story, Aidan! I hope that you will write more for us!!

  5. today on monday the coolers are going to the metmarket to tak piksher of fans then the coolers are getgoing met then the coolers met for dnbner then the coolers tak lam to tac tomnoro at 11 nissan quest no the way back the coolers are going to tak pakshers of amecan ambulce then lam is going to wat for the tran to come then the coolers are going to com home shon go to chool
    by aidan kron go the foot ball game the coolers are going to park the coolers rae going to mass at tac the then the coolers are get diet coke for dad then the coolers the ambulce is going to ranover the coolers


We love hearing from our readers. Please share your thoughts or just say hello!