Monday, November 4, 2013
Kids Being Kids in the Very Best Way
I'm sure that the end of Daylight Savings Time played a part, but I think the real difference was motivation. Although my children typically awaken before I do each morning, they drag their feet getting to breakfast and out the door. They usually scuttle into school as the bell rings, leaving unmade beds and dirty pajamas in their wake at home.
When I climbed out of bed a few minutes before 7:00 this morning, the house was silent. Both kids' bedroom doors were wide open and both beds were made. Pleasantly surprised and suspecting what was going on, I raised the blinds at the rear of the house and found both kids fully dressed and working together to build a fort. The thermometer in my bedroom said it was 29.5 degrees outside, but they were sweatered, fleeced, and strategizing in the backyard.
I called them in for breakfast and surprised them with warm drinks. When I commended them on dressing and making their beds without my nagging, they proudly announced that both already had brushed their teeth as well. Without prodding or rushing, we arrived at school ten minutes before the bell rang. It was glorious.
The fort is part of a larger project they started yesterday. As originally conceived, it was to be a zip line. When they couldn't get the slack out of the clothesline I provided them, they changed course and made double slack lines--one to walk on, one for a hand hold. Suspended in the air, they walk from a tree branch to the garden swing. After shimmying over the top of the swing, they walk on a second slack line to the next tree.
The fort appears at ground level on the opposite side of the final tree. It still needs work, and this morning the kids hauled rocks, made mud, and dug holes in the lawn, mostly to no avail.
The whole thing makes me very happy.
While I worry that they will fall, I let them climb anyway. While I'd rather they don't dig up the lawn, I let them dig. I only calmly requested they not hurt themselves too badly because I didn't feel like going to the hospital. Then I left them alone to their fun.
These are the things kids should do--scheming, creating, and testing their invincibility. Their problem-solving, creativity, and pride are worth the bumps and bruises.
If it means we get to school on time without my nagging them, I'm going to encourage this project through the winter months. I'll set the snow boots by the back door.
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I have linked this post at Just Write at The Extraordinary Ordinary.