Saturday, January 28, 2012

Turning 21 marks the beginning of a new chapter in life. It seems not too long ago when I pushed Samuel then aged 3 into a 20 feet long concrete tunnel for him to walk through on his own without me at his side. He already showed sign of bravery at that age. But it also revealed that he trusted his dad. When Samuel was 5, I took him tho the park and cajoled him to climb to the top of the fishnet-like structure that was about 18 feet high. Without second thought, Sam climbed up nimbly like a monkey. To this day, rock climbing is his favorite sport. His friend commented when they saw him climbed the wall: "You mean this is the first time he is doing the climbing? He is like a pro already." Sam always thinks that he was born with the natural ability for parkour and climbing. My view is that nurture takes 80%.

Sam has a unique gift of assembling things. When we brought back wooden shelves be it bed or book shelves from IKEA, before I could finished reading the instruction manual, Sam usually finished assembled the whole structures. He is DIY person. Most of the handy works stuff in the home were fixed up by him. His adeptness and love for assembling things also originates from the earlier years of training. I gave him complex gazettes and toys to assemble, difficult puzzles (Complicated pattern and design) to solve. Sarah normally could reach level 4 whereas nothing to stop Sam from attaining the highest level that even adults sometimes found them difficult. His brain works in a spatial concept. Take him into any new city, he can remember exact location and place and finds his way back. Sam is our sure bet whenever we have difficulty locating our car in a huge car park even without any clear sign. Sam thinks that he was born with that natural instinct. But my view is that nurture accounts for 80%.

When comes to cooking, baking, Sam excels. He approached these activities like a scientist doing his experiments in the lab. Because he is daring, adventurous, creative, he is not afraid to try new things and new ways of doing things. Not many of his friends know that Sam is an Origamist. The origami that Sam did are usually intricate and exquisite. If grade 8 is the highest that one can go in Origami, I would rate him as level 7. I told him he could make a living out of this trade.

Sam learns most things on his own through observation, reading books, asking good questions (soliloquy). When I found him day dreaming, he was actually spending time thinking aloud of projects that he wanted to embark on. He aspires to be a polymath. That itself is a worthy pursuit. Constance and I pulled him out from school when he was in form 1. Since then he has been pursuing knowledge through reading books, learning through Google and You-Tube and having interesting conversation with people who are knowledgeable. Sam is so knowledgeable that sometimes I thought he was bluffing his way through! But when I checked the subjects that we discussed, I discovered that he knew far more than me. His education came mainly from non formal and informal learning. Ask him why he is so good in photography and cinematogrpahy. His answer might surprise you. Sam is full of surprises. There is never a dull moment with him. The only problem is that you will wonder how come Sam knows so much given that fact that he did not even go to University.

He is a bundle of joy and the live wire in the family. If I were to be marooned in a deserted Island, I would love to have him with me. So I can be entertained by him, I don't have to cook, I don't have to worry how to build a wooden house. We can just talk all day and all night and drink coconut juice from a straw made from the leaves. Sam would make all kinds of Origami and build obstacles for sports. He might even make a wooden golf stick for me to tee off a wooden golf ball. Sam showed me the other day how to light a fire using two sharp objects that he bought from on-line. 10 times out of 10 when he struck the objects against each other, spark of fire flew before my face. "How does this work?" I asked him. He gave me a 5 minutes scientific discourse that impressed me.

I did not choose him to be in my family. God did not give me a menu to choose what I want for a boy. In His wisdom and graciousness, God gifted Sam to be my son. A loving brother to Sarah, Sam and his sister often sings duet beautifully. I would normally sit in a corner, savor every moment, thanking God for these two wonderful gifts.

I would not trade Sam for any boy in the world.