Friday, 13 March 2009

Another Friday 13th

And here is Tiger and Squirrel at Forest School. They adore these cold start Friday mornings, and we have to arrive early. Arrive two minutes late? Big trouble.

Today we arrive especially early. Squirrel and Tiger jump out the car and bound around the grassy slopes, jumping up like their bodies haven't yet learned about gravity. They are truly excited about the prospect of spending two hours this morning tramping about woodland, learning about shelters, collecting sticks, being outdoors. Drizzle won't matter. Neither will cloudy skies, chafing wind, nor the prospect of returning to an empty house without daddy Dig there to complain that we are making a noise coming home.

Sometimes their enthusiasm for this course surprises me, because we spend much of our week outdoors. We always go somewhere, even if it is to the garden, to play dinosaurs in the mud patch or complain about the cat. If there is a day when we do not get out from the house I feel it is a lost day. Sometimes it is necessary, because I must wash plates and spread knickers on radiators to dry. Those days I will sigh and console myself that otherwise we will be going out naked. But most days out we go, arguing and tumbling from the front door, complaining about who sits where in the car or who's walking ahead on the pavement and who is always left behind. Most times I can make our outings fit into an educational frame, like maths or science or geography. It doesn't take too much imagination, and it pleases me, and keeps me from worrying.

But I can see that you both love Forest School, even though I don't quite know what exactly you take from it. Perhaps it is the feel of the wind in your hair, or the shouts of other children from among the trees, or perhaps the feel of wood between your fingers as you craft a tiny shelter, crinkling tissue paper for walls, and tell yourself it will become a home for beetles or ants.

I want you to know that your happiness to be here makes me happy. And as I watch you scamper off to explore and experiment I think we are the most fortunate people in the whole world, that we can be free to choose, and live our lives this way.


The Finely Tuned Woman said...

It does my heart good to see everybody so content, including you Grit. What a wonderful way to spend some stray hours and to get so much out of it. But where was Shark? Does she not love Forest School?

sharon said...

What lovely smiling faces. Obviously Friday 13ths are good news in the Grit family. Presumably Shark was pursuing a more watery course for the day...

Grit said...

shark decided not to take the forest school course this time round. she likes to be different from her sisters, and anyway, was half way reading Dolphins in Danger when asked if she'd like to go.