Life with children is precious, amazing, hilarious, and quite freeing – if you actually hang out with the children and observe them. Bonus if you let them decide things about their own lives – you know, the things that don’t really matter all that much, so why not let them have it their way. This is something I think my dad did well while we were growing up. In fact if it had been just him raising me, I think I would still have leaves and twigs in my hair and missing a few teeth, but I’d probably be a more happy, peaceful soul.
Two minutes ago: my son, wearing skirt, bandanas tucked into waistband, soccer shinguards, and sparkly silver mary jane shoes (he tells me he’s a Princess; Sophie is a Leopard) – he’s standing in the hallway, looking into the bathroom while our stripey cat Harris hunches on the floor making horking sounds. Nels holds a Barbie lunch box and just watches, emanating total focus and curiosity, as the cat goes on and on (at this point I call in Sophie to help him deliver the cat outside – they’re a good team on this).
As I type the above paragraph Nels has moved on from the cat drama to compose and deliver a hand-typed message to his sister (we have an old Royal typewriter set up in the living room). Sophie kindly tries to read it but has trouble because of his typos. “It says, ‘I love you!'” my son yells furiously. She, used to his Random Outbursts of Rage, offers to read him her newest library book. They settle in, sweet as pie.
Today: making French bread, packing up dinner, and catching the bus to Cosi for Sophie’s first soccer game of the season.