I don’t actually remember what I was doing when I was 11 – playing sports with my friends, reading a lot, doing okay in school and spending time with my family, I’d guess – but there’s no doubt that I was never as focused and confident as Jonah Larson.
Jonah began life in Ethiopia, abandoned by his birth mother in the woods and delivered to an orphanage by a good Samaritan. He was adopted by a couple in the United States, the Larsons, but spent so much of his young life getting healthy that doctors feared he would have cognitive delays.
Jonah “lucked out” (his words) in the family and the health department, seeming to bear no significant scars or delays from the struggles of his early life.
When he was five years old, Jonah found a crochet hook in a bag of his aunt’s old craft items. He took it, watched some videos on Youtube, and started working on his own projects. Now at 11, he’s got his own Instagram page with thousands of followers, and the Larson’s house is bursting at the seams with handmade knitwear.
He was selling his crochets online, but with orders stacking up 2000 deep (for real), he’s had to close temporarily to new orders – though he does knits gift for family and friends.
The people who follow him on Instagram refer to Jonah as a crocheting prodigy, and it’s not hard to see why. His mom, Jennifer Larson, talked with Kare 11 News about how, at the beginning, people thought she was actually doing the crocheting because the items were too beautiful.
“They didn’t think it was possible that a 7- or 8-year-old child could be doing this. Many of these people that have crocheted their entire lives can’t come close to where he is now. The only crocheting hooks I pick up are the ones Jonah leaves around the house.”
It’s nice to know that he’s an average preteen in some ways, isn’t it? Because when it comes to caring what other people think of him, Jonah just doesn’t have time for it (unlike the rest of us). When his older bother told him to keep his hobby on the down low at school so the other kids wouldn’t make fun of him, Jonah just shrugged, according to Jennifer.
“He’s like, ‘Mom, I’m black and I have white parents and I live in a white community, so the crocheting – couldn’t care less.’ He really doesn’t care what other people think of him, he never has.”
And now and 11-year-old boy is officially my hero.
His mom also says that he takes his hobby seriously, crocheting around 5 hours every day.
“Sometimes he gets up early before I even get up. He’s at the table crocheting at like six in the morning. And when he goes to sleep, underneath that cover there’s crochet hooks and a flashlight.”
Even though Jonah has been featured in the local newspaper (and now online) and has a whole new crop of fans salivating for a Jonah original – not to mention that he’s been offered a sponsorship by a yarn company – Jennifer says he’s not let it change him.
“He enjoys giving interviews and talking to reporters, but as soon as we’re done he just goes about his crocheting. It definitely hasn’t gone to his head in any way.”
You’ll be interested to know that Jonah isn’t planning on turning his love and talent for crocheting into a lifelong career. He has other plans.
“I’m planning to attend West Point, the Academy, and then becoming a surgeon. This is kind of helping me prep for that.”
I’m totally blown away by this kid’s purpose and poise, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next – with and without his crochet hooks.
I have no doubt he’ll do whatever he sets his mind to next.