Letting Them Alone

The kids all came down with nasty coughs this week, so it’s been a group recovery effort.  Not much got done in the way of schoolwork, chores, or that sorta thing.

When we aren’t doing anything “officially” things are still happening of course.  Dominic was the first to get sick and the first on the upswing, so he has been spending a lot of time next to the Lego box creating various fierce-looking vehicles (when I can peel him away from that box called the computer . . ).

Claire spent most of the day as a dog because she “wanted to see what it was like”.

Claire-Dog pounced around the yard with shoes on all-fours.  She did dog tricks in the house and was led around by her younger brother Dominic on a leash.  At one point I found her eating her lunch on the kitchen floor, so I had to let the dog eat off the table!

I’m glad I snapped some photos of her during this particular episode.  We’re so used to these “Claire moments” that’s it’s easy to take them for granted.  Claire spends most of her day creating some sort of fantasy world, some object, or some scheme to make a million bucks.  In the past few months, we’ve had Claire t.v., Claire computer (complete with scripted games), and a 3-part series of detective novels. She uses a lot of paper. A. Lot.  And tape.  She can do a whole lot with tape.  She made a gumball machine a few months ago with paper tubes and tape.

As I type I can hear her in her room with Dominic creating stores and a bartering system in which Dominic hopefully won’t lose too miserably. 🙂

I’m glad that my younger children have this freedom to explore their inclinations without editing or judgment from authority figures.  They go into these experiences without a concern about the “end product” — they are just in the moment, being a dog, making a t.v., creating their store, whatever.  It’s taken a long time for me to step back and allow them to be — to be in the process, in the moment, even if it’s sometimes imperfect or different from what I’d do.

I’m learning all them time, even on on sick days. 🙂

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