Monday, November 5, 2012

The Problem Solver

My son is a problem solver.  Give him something that he has to solve, some obstacle, and he will sit there happily, oblivious to everything until he has figured it out.  I've watched him do it, his face focused in concentration.  He will park himself front and center, and work out a solution, going from point A to point B, and sometimes even to point Z.  I may not particularly like how he solves the problem(i.e., pulling down the baby gate when he was younger, just so he could climb the stairs), but I have to admire his desire to solve it.  Amazingly, Zane will more often than not have a smile on his face while he addresses a problem.

I also admire that smile.  That smile tells you that my boy is happy to be thinking, happy to have some obstacle to overcome. Happy to have a challenge to confront, a tower to topple, a battle to win. And when he's conquered that hill and planted the flag, it's a big, bright smile for the next mountain.  That smile floors me every time.

How many people can say that an obstacle makes them happy?  When was the last time you smiled in the face of a problem?  When I am confronted with a problem, I tend to take a negative attitude. I am disgusted, annoyed, irritated.   I want the problem to go away, of course.  Later, I may ponder the meaning, searching for some lesson, but in the middle of the muddy ditch, it's difficult to see anything but the dirt. 

Perhaps my irritation makes solving the problem harder?  Does my disgust pile more rocks upon the mountain in front of me?  Maybe I get so focused on being annoyed that I take longer to resolve the issue? 

They say that perception is all.  How we perceive a situation changes the situation, then.  My son may be on the right track here.  I can't change all the obstacles that are going to show up in his life, or mine. What I can try to change is my attitude.  So I am going to try it Zane's way, and smile. 

If nothing else, some of the 'problems' in my life are going to get a little nervous. 


  1. Aww sweet boy! I only like math problems--then I get a little jazzed, but only if I can shake the cobwebs and remember how to do them!

  2. um,, what's going on with your NaNo up there?

    1. I don't know. I've never used the word count before.


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