The Inspiration of Children

I am sure you have all been in a situation where you are totally amazed by kids who did more than you ever expected… You may have thought them geniuses in that moment! As a mom of 6 kids, spanning over 16 years, (so for the last 36 years, I have been raising kids out of my house) I am surprised by so many of my kids, their friends or my sibling’s kids by their brainiac-ness… I am totally humbled by their ability to grasp concepts that are totally foreign to me…

I remember a time when my eldest son and I were both in college at the same time, him at UW and me at our local community college, OC. We happened to be taking the exact same general chemistry course. At one point, he came home for the weekend and we were both studying for a midterm on the exact same content – He scored a near perfect SAT score and was on a full ride at the time.  Needless to say, he was helping his mom with the concept of stoichiometry and reactions. I was so lost – but us studying together brought me this secret joy… Anyway, I did pick up on a couple of points and felt as if I might not be as bad off as I had originally thought but I was still nervous. As I took him to the ferry on Monday morning, him on his way to take his test, and after I dropped him off, I’d be taking mine, my stomach was sick with worry and stress – and I asked him, “Sonny, don’t you ever experience test anxiety?” He answered, “Yeah, sure.” So I asked him, “What do you do to deal with it?”  He looked at me with the most quizzical look on his face, and I am sure he thought it was the dumbest question he had ever heard, when he replied, “I take the test!” With that he got out of the car and ran to catch the ferry – as I sat numbly pondering his answer…. Of course! Take the test!

A foreign concept – not ever being proficient in school, and tests being the BANE of my existence – I had no idea that the solution was so simple – you can only do what you can do. In fact, it has been 13 years since I received my Bachelor’s Degree and I am only just now realizing the truest impact of that statement. “You just take the test.”  

Well, recently we started a program called the Aguaponics Apprenticeship Program. Let me clarify one thing – Aguaponics is the Mexican term for Aquaponics which although is a word, is not yet in a dictionary. That was simply a justification segue. 

Anyway, we started this program and the kids who have opted in are absolutely amazing! If you have not yet heard about it, please take a look at the overview and contract they signed HERE. You will be amazed at their dedication. We have had a couple of meetings so far and their ideas and inspirations have totally blown me away!

They call themselves the “Deep Roots”.  I call them my free thinkers.  They are lightly directed – more guided – not just by me, but by their parents, their relatives, their friends and mostly their own ingenuity to find the questions that will guide them to the solutions – eventually bringing the team full circle to building their “own” aguaponics system at the Seeds of Grace Headquarters.

Their drive for a solution is their own curiosity – fed by the curiosity of their teammate… Have you ever witnessed children – aged 8 – 16 working as a team? Cohesively? Each feeding the thought process of the other?  I truly believe this is God’s intention for our living… His model for our sheer existence… That’s how these kids are operating!

They are not even close to the solution – the one that we know they will arrive at. But they are working toward it in a way I have never experienced before. I had this idea of how it would work…  but it is doing so much more that I could have even imagined. These kids are developing an aguaponics system that will feed 60 – 100 people per week at a local soup kitchen. They are thinking about all aspects of the project, including the type of fish that will best suit the system; the type of produce to grow; the way the plumbing will work; how they will fund it, how to sustain it, how to grow and how they will multiply it to different locations. These kids, are researching the absolute best way to achieve the goals they set for themselves in the most collaborative way.

I would love to invite you to come and take a look at what these kids are building. And I would also ask you to consider supporting their project with your skills, your materials, your prayers or your financial backing. Please contact me for more information about the program and how you can be involved.