This week my son, Chase, sent me a time-lapse video of a project he was working on. He likes to set up a camera and film himself doing something and then speed it up and send it to me. He sent me a video once when he was moving, and it was crazy watching a whole moving day being condensed into two minutes.
Chase is a creator. My mother taught me to allow the mess, and to have tons of paper and tape available for his toddler creations. I learned to be silent about the nails in my tires when he built a sled on skis in our garage one summer. It was all worth it.
He was building a stage for a concert at his house. Because the price of lumber is so high right now, he repurposed an old ping pong table and added shorter legs to it. He wanted it to be easy to move and so he had to figure out how to design the stage to come apart but still support the musician(s) that would be playing on it.
After watching the time lapse, I texted back and told him that he was hitting all of my dopamine–feel good transmitters in my brain– buttons.
- I love the adage “reduce, reuse, recycle”. He checked that one with the ping pong table.
- He has bought power tools and slowly taught himself using Youtube and Reddit for advice.
- He didn’t pay someone else to build it.
- He created, designed, and made mistakes–a “Growth Mindset”–and didn’t give up.
- Every time he uses his new stage he will remember the successful experience and it will propel him to do more projects.
- He was able to visualize the project from the first thought when he saw the ping pong table to the end when he was having an event in his back yard on Thursday night. He saw the vision and then did the vision.
More than anything, I was happy to see my son doing something meaningful and feeling so excited about it.
Donald Miller said:
“No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath… We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?”