Andy's third Christmas, 1994, from Teaching kids about Santa Claus on His Scribe, December 19, 2010:
"Time passed. Now Ben and Becky were teenagers and the only child in the family was their cousin Andy.
"One Christmas morning when Andy's mother Linda (Rick's sister) went into the living room to turn up the furnace and turn on the tree lights, she discovered that the bichon frise had chewed through the wrappings of a package containing something edible and had ingested a good chunk of it (with no effects on him at all).
"It took all of us to convince a dubious Andy later that Prancer had eaten the left rear panel of his new chocolate Ferrari.
|Inset: on second thought, maybe we didn't convince him.|
One day Linda took Andy to a playground and in his typical unabashed fashion, he went right up to a group of kids, older than himself, who were playing in a space ship and said, "Let's play space ship. I'll be the captain and you be my crew." So they did. Our former pastor Dave Hocking used to say (maybe still does), "If you want to know whether you have the gift of leadership, look behind you and see if anyone is following." Andy's poise with kids (or adults) he's never met is amazing, but even more amazing is their response to his assuming control over them. A woman at the playground who had been watching him introduced herself to Linda as an expert in gifted children and said Andy has "unlimited potential."
Linda and Mark went to a counselor to see why Andy is so resistant to toilet-training when he knows exactly what's expected and can perform when he wants to. The counselor came to the door of the waiting room and asked Mark to come in first, alone. After some time, Mark came out and Linda went in. Then she came out and they all went home.
The next week the three of them were in the waiting room again when the counselor came to the door. Before she could open her mouth, Andy said, "It's my turn!" and trotted past her into her office.
So he had a session. Even adults let him assume control over them.
The day after his 4th birthday, Andy wanted to play with one of his new toys.
Linda read the box aloud: "For ages 4 and up."
Andy: "My brain turned four yesterday."
Rick was having lunch out with Linda when she related this to him about his nephew; he was so impressed he wrote it down on a napkin to share with me.
"'My brain'! How many 4-year olds know the word 'brain'? Do you think he understood that it isn't how old your body is that determines whether you're old enough for a certain game, but--mental maturity? Our kids were bright but I don't think they were talking like that at this age. What are Linda and Mark dealing with here?"
An incontinent genius.
Linda and Mark have not been watching the televised trial of O.J. Simpson because of a possible negative effect on Andy--so how did he know to say today, "Oh, Mommy, O.J.'s in trouble again!"
Today I am thankful for chocolate cake doughnuts with chocolate icing and rainbow sprinkles.
JAPAN-RELATED STORIES BELOW.