Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Free Play

Yesterday afternoon was nearly idyllic. I wasn't expecting much from our afternoon, as the kids had gotten up super early from their naps. But we went outside, I watered the plants, and hooked up the sprinkler pool. The kids played for a good half hour, splashing, pouring cups of water over their bellies, and such. It had cooled off a bit, and the water spilling out of the pool and onto the deck was cold beneath my feet.

After a while, I asked if they might like crackers with Henry's delicious cheese spread, to which they answered with a resounding "yes!" I brought out the snacks and a huge cup of limeade. They ate for a few minutes, then ran out into the yard to play on the swings. For almost forty-five (yes, 45!) minutes straight, they swung on the swings. They swung on their bellies, on their bottoms, and on their feet. They straddled the swings and pretended they were riding horses. They pretended they were airplanes, and Lachlann experimented with balance, leaning all the way back and extending his legs fully. They grabbed onto a rope that was hanging from a branch and flung their legs up into the air, to see how long they could hold on. They climbed into the kiddie swing and took turns pushing each other, willingly and happily climbing out to trade spots.

I sat in the shade, eating crackers and drinking limeade (which I willingly shared with the kids whenever they ran over with a sip), watching my boys play and be themselves.

I'm so glad I can give them this: the time to just be and play and learn and grow.



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