My eight year-old, Ari, finished taking the Terra Nova test a few weeks ago. It was grueling for him, even though his teacher allowed the kids to chew gum and take their shoes off during the testing hour. Every night my son would come home and tell me how he thought he did.
One day he said, “Mom, I know I got one of the questions wrong.” So I said, ”What happened?” It seems the testers had asked, Which of these items doesn’t belong here? The picture showed a banana, an orange, a baseball and a globe. My son chose the baseball. I said, “What was your reason?” He explained that you don’t throw food, so it couldn’t be the banana or the orange. And you wouldn’t throw a globe, either. ”The baseball is the only thing you would throw. So I picked that.” So I said, “Did you get a chance to explain your choice?” To which my son answered, “Mom, you know it’s only bubbling in, right?”
Which has me thinking…they’re only bubbles. Bubbles pop. Bubbles are temporary. Here one second, gone the next. They don’t carry any weight. Yet we revel in those bubbles. But who will revel in the creative thinkers like my son, and probably thousands like him, who never get a chance to explain their choices? Who think outside the box or don’t even know there is a box?
I complimented Ari for having such a good reason and for being so reflective. He shrugged and said, “Thanks, Mom. I’ll choose the banana next time.”