I love that two people can give the best of each of themselves to their children. In play, I am much more detailed oriented, more likely to sit and build something or complete a puzzle. James prefers imaginative play, acting out scenes and playing pretend.
Colin has bits of both of us. Yesterday he had the Lego out, hard at work building a creation. When he showed me the finished product, I was amazed. He had recreated the train from the "Polar Express." It had the form of a caboose, and had an arch at the back on each side where passengers would climb aboard. It also had a space in the back where one could walk from one car to the next. On top of the roof he added white blocks, representing snow, and two small blocks as the handles to which the characters cling to stop from falling. Then, on top of the snow, he built a little boy and a large man (two characters from the film). He asked me how tall I thought the boy was, and how tall the man was, and I said, respectively, four feet and six feet. He built the boy 4 blocks high and the man six blocks high, giving a smaller head to the boy and a larger head to the man. In this scene in the film, the man (a ghost) is boiling a pot of water on a fire, and the two characters share a "cup of joe." Each of these items was crafted in detail, including red blocks for the fire and cup for each person.
I was absolutely amazed at the detail in his creation, the proper scale to which he had built it all. And then, after showing me, he spent the next few hours in imaginative play, recreating the scene the from film, taking the little train all over the house.
His spatial awareness is astounding; even his teacher has noted this advanced ability. A few weeks back she sent home some magnet poles and balls with which the kids build shapes. The teacher was surprised when I told her we didn't have a set at home already. She said whereas most kids build flat shapes, Colin always built in three dimensions - cubes instead of squares, pyramids instead of triangles, and other objects like chairs and tables. And although I can't predict what career he might pursue down the road, it will be neat to look back on moments like these and see how he was already forming his skills and talents.