I was reminded of something very dear to me last weekend. It’s so important to let our children have an opportunity to lead US. So much time is spent (wasted) trying to get kids to do what we want them to do, dress how we want them to dress, play how we want them to play, act how we want them to act, smile | stand | sit how we want them to for our photos, for others, for our selves. I see so many people trying to control everything around them–including their children, spouses, family–and it is driving everyone crazy, including themselves.
Children are people too.
We visited the Detroit Zoo last weekend and I gave Wren the map and let her lead us for the day. Of course I had to say “no” to most of the ice cream stands and gift shops we walked past, but that’s about where I drew the line. Otherwise, we saw the animals that she wanted to see, we took the paths she wanted to take and we saw the penguins twice. Why not?
It’s so vital that we let our children have these kind of opportunities. How else do they learn to lead and feel confident in their choices? So what if we didn’t see the monkeys.
Yahoo, we got the last of our bulbs in the ground before our new little birdie arrived! It was one of those post-baby jobs that seemed almost Herculean as I pictured holding an infant while helping Wren dig, place and bury without flailing wet dirt all over her new little birdie friend. Whew. Done.
We were especially inspired this fall by one of our favorite books: Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. We read it every week, at all times of the year. It seemed to really make a lot of sense to Wren this fall, however, since the beginning is about a child planting bulbs with her mother and then waiting all winter long for spring’s warmth and sunshine to sprout the rainbow.
Wren quickly developed some fairly particular “rules” about planting bulbs, which I had a difficult time following. God forbid I kneel on HER knee pad or get any dirt on it, the bulbs cannot stay in their “sleeping bags,” which meant she HAD to remove the papery husks (?) from the orange tulips and azure allium, and the hardy cyclamen bulbs HAD to stay snuggled up together as a family, which meant that ideally there were three or four cyclamen bulbs all piled up together. I had to do some fairly tricky “hey, look at that over there!” maneuvering to separate them before hiding them with a little bit of dirt. I was caught a couple times… it wasn’t pretty.
We said “good night” to the bulbs as we covered them up with some more dirt, put our tools away for a while and went back inside, feeling hopeful and relieved. Whew. OK, baby you can come now!