My wife bought a new toy for our six-year-old grandson, Liam, during a shopping trip today. This evening, as soon as I walked through the door, Liam wanted me to work on this project with him. It was a small dinosaur skeleton, separated into pieces and encased in an egg-shaped, hard plaster shell. The package included a tool that allowed you to carve away at the plaster to eventually reveal the bones. So, with a newspaper spread out on the counter, Liam and I went at it.
Working like seasoned archeologists, Liam and I took turns chipping away at the egg. After about thirty minutes, we had dug through more than half of the egg without discovering a single bone! I thought that, perhaps, when they made this toy, the bones sank to one side of the mold. Obviously, we had started on the opposite side. Setting the tool down with frustration, Liam said, “I wish I had not asked YaYa to buy this for me.” But I encouraged him to continue.
Nearly an hour after we started, we finally got to our first bone. But until we uncovered that first bone, Liam was ready to quit about two or three additional times. From the point he first discovered a bone, Liam was all in and had a total ball, playing archaeologist.
It is completely understandable that Liam, being a young boy, would get impatient. But, this event allowed me to share with him the concept of perseverance. We started this project, and we saw it through to completion. Liam learned he needed to put in the requisite amount of time to extract the bones he was seeking. And, he learned he needed to be patient enough to see the project through. How many adults do you know who still have not learned these lessons?