With Great Success and Aplomb

Bean being outfitted as a Knight for Jousting

We are starting early at raising our boys to be Renaissance Men!

A renaissance man or polymath is a person who is skilled in multiple fields or multiple disciplines, and who has a broad base of knowledge. The term renaissance man is largely based on the various artists and scholars of the European Renaissance, (starting in about 1450 CE), who pursued multiple fields of studies. Perhaps the quintessential renaissance man of this period was Leonardo Da Vinci, who was a master of art, an engineer, an anatomy expert (for the time), and also pursued many other disciplines with great success and aplomb. ~ from the website wiseGEEK.

The part of that description that gets me the most is “with great success and aplomb” because that is how my boys barrel their ways through life; with all the energy, enthusiasm and creativity that will fit into their bodies, and going about things at the tops of their lungs.

Actually, to be quite honest, I don’t know that we have had much to do with their adventures in being artistic. This is just who our boys are on their own – always curious to try something new. Already Ben (at age 7) writes poetry, welds, paints, makes sculptures, writes children’s books (often quite entertaining), is mastering Karate, and wants to grow up to be a Doctor, an Artist and a Dad. Bean (at age 4) tells incredibly detailed stories with all sorts of characters, good vs. evil, great battle scenes, wild mechanical inventions with all sorts of buttons or levers, a variety of weapons and loads of ammunition. He is my snuggler. They are wildly goofy.

This last week, before school one day, Ben figured out how to make himself a horse’s harness out of one of his belts and some rope. What followed was about 45 minutes of him requiring his little brother to stand still so that he could make him Jousting Armor out of paper, in order for Ben to be able to pose, triumphantly at the end, as a horse, with his brother in full garb, riding out to battle.

And, finally – the big payoff – the moment we’ve all been waiting for… bugles are heard in the distance…


Benjamin may not look triumphant. In fact, when my husband saw this picture posted on Facebook, he swore he would have saved Ben from this humiliation, if he’d been home. I had to inform him that the whole thing was Ben’s idea. Ben is just posing without a lot of emotion, because, silly, he’s a knight’s horse. He is fierce. He is part of the battle. He’s got his game face on.

4 thoughts on “With Great Success and Aplomb

  1. Well, I don’t know how you came to drop by Prufrock’s, but I’m very glad you did, as it’s enabled me to find you in time for this priceless post! I think Robert Lepage, who has been taken to task repeatedly for his Ring Cycle set at the Met Opera would be well advised to take a cue from your boys.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Susan! I had to do a little research to learn more about Robert Lepage and his Ring Cycle. And yes – set designers should definitley first enlist the help of children with scizzors and tape and paper to do a first installment. They are so naturally talented, and don’t have any of the hangups of grown-up artists. I think it would be a brilliant move!

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