Safety, Taking Risks, and Father’s Day

When my oldest son was born, he came out so quickly that my wife’s contractions and pushing bruised him.  His head was purple and black.  Visitors and nurses would gasp as if they had seen the Monster from the Black Lagoon walk out of the water when they saw him for the first time.

During his toddler years, his head was as big as a pumpkin.  His aunt would call him CB because he resembled Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His enormous head made learning to walk difficult.  Often, he would lean forward and the weight of his head would work with gravity and “BAM!” He would fall over bruising his forehead or face.  One time he did this on our driveway, and we noticed a crack in the concrete.  I think the crack may have been there, but his older sister insists he cracked the concrete.  I am beginning to think she may be correct.

See, strange things seem to happen with the boy. On the first day of summer vacation a few years ago, he and a buddy had the idea to launch water balloons with a water balloon slingshot.  Usually you need three people to do this, but he figured out a way to make it work.  He attached one part of the slingshot to our mailbox and his friend held the other side.  Andy would place the water balloon in the holder, pull back on the elastic bands, and launch away.  Eventually, he and his friend ran out of water balloons.  However, they were not tired of the activity.   Therefore, they looked around for other ammo.  The tried a plastic wiffle ball, plastic golf balls, and acorns.  None seemed to work that well or go very far.  So, he decided to use a real golf ball.  Andy figured the mass would increase the velocity as it flew out of the sling.  I think he was trying to bust the myth of David slaying Goliath with one stone.  You know how sometimes experiments don’t quite work out the way you want?  Well, this one of those times.  Andy did find out that it is possible for a golf ball to travel with speed and do damage to a target.  Unfortunately, Goliath was not the target.  Instead, the ball stayed in the holder, spun around a few times, and shot back at Andy’s face.  The force of it knocked two of his teeth right out.  Maybe he will become a hockey player.

Some folks would be shy about experiments after nearly swallowing a golf ball.  Not this boy.  He has disassembled NERF guns to make the springs tighter.  This causes the darts to fly faster and harder.   Just ask his little brothers.

His love for science, or as I prefer to call it, his love for successfully destroying and demolishing, was fueled like gasoline on a fire last week when he attended The Eastland-Fairfield Career Center Test Drive Your Future Summer Camp

.  One of his classes was Big Bang Boom!  I do not know what my wife was thinking when she signed him up.  They actually blew up plastic bottles, mixed certain chemicals together so when water is added, it erupts into a fire, and then sent him home with matches!  Needless to say, we tried to duplicate some of the experiments at home because Andy was excited to show his little brothers, thus leading to my Father’s Day gift this year.

A boy needs a safe place to explore the properties of fire.  Since our yard and the road did not meet my safety requirements, I asked for a fire pit.  Now, Andy has a safe place to experiment, and I get to eat S’mores!

English: A picture of a Smores treat.

English: A picture of a Smores treat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was one of the best gifts I ever received.  What was yours?

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Filed under Humor, Learning, Measuring Student Success

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