Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Their natural habitat


We nearly went in to town on a saturday afternoon. We saw the sunshine and the blue sky and realised we couldn't waste this opportunity to get outside.  Three children walking around shops on a busy afternoon in town is not really my idea of a good time.  Watching them become totally absorbed in their game of den-building and mud-mixing is my idea of a wonderful time.  Sticks were carefully placed to an already existing structure, the mud was mixed with some water to make "ice-cream and beef"!  We stayed at a distance with the littl'un.  We marvelled at how much they were enjoying themselves, they could have stayed all day, I could have watched them all day.  There was no arguing, no hitting, no technology,  no toys, no whining.  Just pure, all-consuming play.

They were children in their natural habitat, doing what they do best.  We were just the facilitators, we got them there, we supervised them, I washed the mud out of their clothes that night.  It was a beautiful reminder that children really don't need that much to enjoy themselves, to express themselves, to 'be' themselves.  (So why did we spend so much at Christmas?)  From where I was standing they just looked so content and so alive and all they cared about was this very blissful moment.  I was reluctant to burst the bubble and announce it was home time, but they came, mud-smeared, rosy cheeked and nourished in a very natural way.

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