Saturday, August 30, 2008
We are praying for Pamela's grandma and grandpa, who live in Lousiana and are facing Gustav (as well as other members of the family who live there and in Mississippi). They gave this beautiful 500-piece panda puzzle to Pamela for Christmas, and she just finished it this week! The puzzle was quite a challenge (for both of us) because it only had three basic colors: white, black, and green and combinations of them. I had to scaffold puzzle building in the early stages! If you look at where we started with puzzles back in March 2007, you might think I am excited about how far Pamela has come in this ability. You see, she finished the puzzle while I was cooking dinner. The last fourteen pieces were black and could only be placed by shape and the number of knobs and holes. Being able to do this shows how far she has come because, when we first started, she did not even know the difference between a corner, edge, or inner piece, much less what to do with them.
But, improvement in this static, procedural skill is NOT why I am so excited! I have always loved to build puzzles: my grandmother from Germany always bought me the most beautiful and intricate jigsaw puzzles for Christmas. I remember buying one of those round single color puzzles with my babysitting money. I imagined passing on this love of puzzles to my children, envisioning sitting around a table set aside for puzzles and chatting while we worked on a puzzle. Because Pamela had no interest in them because she had no clue how to put them together, I let go of that vision! But, here we were this week finishing up a very complicated one!
I try to keep relationship in mind by spotlighting working together and refining my ability to guide and her ability to relate to me. In this process, she has learned to borrow my perspective on how to build puzzles. Sometimes, we come up with fun creative ways to build a puzzle. And, even when I am not there when she finishes one, she Snoopy dances to see me and shares her joy with me! This morning, two days after finishing the panda, Pamela was looking at it and said to me, "It's so beautiful."