Saturday, December 3, 2016

William the Wise

Several weeks ago, Will's Sunday school class made royal crowns with the words "I can be an example" on them. I took this picture of him in the gymnasium of the church where he declared that he was "King Will". He loved wearing it so much that he asked to wear it to church the following Sunday, and we obliged. A few nights later, when I went in his room to check on him, I found that he had fallen asleep while wearing the crown.

I've been wondering what sort of nickname King Will would have. I searched wikipedia and found what I think is a perfect match: "William the Wise". The real-life William the Wise was known for his love of astronomy, a subject that Will definitely has a passion for. Here is Will listing off the planets in our solar system from memory:

Being able to recite things from memory is Will's true talent. A few months ago, Will had a speaking part in the children's program at church. His line was "the scriptures tell us to be baptized." We helped him practice the line over and over at home and even printed it on a piece of paper that he could read if he forgot. Will had no problem reciting the line for us in the comfort of home, but we wondered how he would do at the pulpit in front of around 200 people.

When Will's class got up to recite their parts, he was at the end of the line. The kids before him all did a good job but, some were a little nervous. One child froze in terror as he started to deliver his line and had to be helped back to his seat. Several kids clearly knew their parts but the pressure of being in front of everyone caused them to ask their teacher to prompt them.

Will's turn came and he confidently walked right up to the microphone. Even though he didn't need to read from the paper we printed for him, he still carried it up and put it on the podium. Then, with a smile on his face, he looked out at the crowd and said his line perfectly. It was probably my proudest moment as a parent.

A few weeks later, Ashley and I were putting Will to bed and he said he wanted to read a story. We asked which story, and he said he wanted "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". This is a book that he reads all the time at his Grandparents' house in Oregon but not one that we had at our house. Before we could tell him that we didn't have the book, he launched into reciting the entire story from memory. I was able to get my phone out to capture the moment: (NOTE: It's a really long video)

What's interesting to me is that Will not just spouting off the lines - he adds in pauses and changes his inflections here and there. He has since made his recitations more and more elaborate. Sometimes he will walk to the light switch to turn the lights on and off to signify the change from day to night. Sometimes he uses stuffed animals for props. In short, he's not just repeating things he has memorized but turning them into a performance.

Here's a video of me asking him to read some names on the wall in a room in my parents' house that they call "The Granddaughter Room". My mom paints letters to spell out the name of each of her granddaughters and Will has learned to read them all. I took this video while I quizzed him on what the letters are and what they spell. Will gets into it the more we go on and you can see how proud he is of himself for being able to read.

In conclusion, our William the Wise has a flair for performing, a love of science, and reading skills. I'll leave you with a short clip of a few other skills that Will has demonstrated: playing the piano, exercising on an elliptical, and giving his baby sister a tour of the house in her high chair.

King Will is a true renaissance man.