We had a splendid Monday. We celebrated a friend's birthday at an incredible oceanside cottage that had been in her family for generations. The adults ate, drank, talked, and took in the view while the kids roamed free. It's the kind of place that encourages hands-free parenting.
Before I'd finished my hellos, each of the kids had a pair of garden shears in hand. I wouldn't have allowed that at home, but on this day, it made perfect sense that a pack of kids armed with shears were cutting a path through the tall grass.
Even the kindergartner, although I did intervene with some shears-carrying safety tips.
The kids played in the grass. They ran back and forth to the rocky beach, lifting rocks to look for crabs. They played an impromptu baseball game with a tennis ball and wiffle ball bat found on the beach. They took a dip in the freezing New England water. Whether a kindergartner, sixth grader, or in between, all joined in the fun of just being kids.
Sometime mid-day, I realized that I hadn't spotted any kids in a while. They tended to move as a pack, and I assumed they'd ventured down to the beach together. I peered over the cliff and saw no kids on the beach. I took a lap around the house and found no kids anywhere.
Then I found them here.
All of them had gathered on the sunporch to play a board game. They were completely oblivious to all the adults milling around and happy to be doing their kid thing. If there were arguments, they resolved them themselves. If there were problems, they solved them. In the best kind of way, it was as if we parents weren't there at all.
When I took this photo, I wanted to be sure that they didn't know I was there. I wanted to shoot across the room and through the door to show that I wasn't a part of what they were doing. I love the light and color on the kids framed by the doorway. Most of all, I love the intensity on their faces.
The day was a fun one for the little guys. It was a fun one for the adults too. But it was important one because it reminded me to just let go and let kids be kids.