Wigwam of Roses
This experience I am about to share reminds me of the book Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis. A stick is not a stick to a child.
Here’s a link in case you want to look into this book… (of coarse its Amazon, I’ve got an addiction). http://www.amazon.com/Not-Stick-Antoinette-Portis/dp/0061123250
So, something I find extremely important for healthy child development is taking the time to allow opportunities to explore. The photo above almost did not happen. Superman, (my hubs), was on one of his adventures again and he was trying to do some yardwork, (cleaning up the fallen branches and sticks)… But then Roses saw it….the PERFECT stick!
“DAD!! Can I have that stick!?!” Roses yells from across the yard.
—-So just to fill you in, Superman has a hard time having his adventures being interrupted and I suppose that many people can find yard work therapeutic.
He says “No” and that he just wants to clean up the yard. (something we’ve been procrastinating on…..seriously, I’ve literally been tripping over branches in our yard).
Roses begins to whine and I then I chime in.
“WHY can’t she have a stick?!”
Roses is challenging and when an opportunity arises for her to be engaged, I take it with anxiety ridden enthusiasm! Superman ends up conceding (resistantly) and says she can have ALL the sticks. (mind you he was not happy about this and he took 20 minutes to himself in the house).
Later however, when he came back out and saw what the amazing creation she was working on, he was OK again.
Moral of the story?? BEING PRESENT. Even if it just means saying “yes” to having a stick. If I had supported Superman’s “NO” answer, then Roses’ wigwam would not have been made. (“Wigwam” was Roses’ title of her creation). It came out quite beautifully too! She worked on it for days.
This moment became such an important moment for Roses. She felt proud and surprised by her abilities to “engineer” this wigwam. She carefully balanced, thoughtfully planned, and problem solved through this process. We now have a professional picture of this moment in our home.
Even though I was not part of Roses’ process in the actual building of the wigwam, I noticed her excitement and allowed her to have an opportunity to explore and create. Being present doesn’t have to mean literally being right there with your child, it can just mean saying YES more often.