I love it when our weekly rhythm changes, I get really excited when new activities pop up in our lives as I LOVE change. Parenting has also brought great joy to me with its natural rhythms and those of the delightful people with whom I live…. I have found pleasure in the regular flow of each day and learned to BE with joy, fun and adventure in all that I do.
I also love the seasonal changes. It is winter now and time to hibernate by the fire, lots of cooking, and well, eating too. Inspired by the kids, I have also taught myself to lounge around on a sofa reading a book! It was a hard lesson for me to learn , but with practice I think I am near mastery stage with this one…
Within minutes of leaving school the older children naturally fell into sleeping in. I know some people have an issue with this, but hey, as long as you get enough sleep.
Same goes for hanging out in Pajamas – still in PJs at 9am – the norm
10am – extremely common
11am – not unheard of
all day – this means there is some serious playing going on and just no time to get dressed.
Because this is what it means – we have been too busy to get dressed!! Local friends are very used to me having breakfast, pajama clad when they pop in for a mid morning cuppa. This means I have been up for hours, done some yoga, in summer some gardening and strawberry scoffing, in winter lit the fire, made bread (and possibly something else like dinner), checked my emails (and now I can add ‘written a post on my blog’!!). It means I have done some washing, maybe some cleaning…. oops this isn’t a work of fiction so I will just stick to the facts here…. So at 10.30 I feel as though I have done a days work. The phone rings alot, the kids sleep alot, it is a good time to get things done.
Charlie wakes about 9am usually. The other two vary. In the Autumn they were both setting their alarms and getting up and going for a run!! Saying that Ollie will sleep all day…A few weeks ago I was having a cuppa in the garden with a friend (I was dressed) and when she left I went inside and wondered where Ollie was. It was 1.30pm and he was fast asleep!! He was a bit cross no one had woken him up! He can sleep through alot of noise so I do try to remember to wake him up at some stage….
No one eats much before 10am, which means lunch is never before 2 or 3ish. They all read and have long leisurely meals in the day. Very good role models for me, so I have adopted the same. ( I do remember to feed other kids who are here and who eat at more regular times.)
And what do they do? Charlie thinks or reads in bed for 20-30 minutes then gets up and plays!! Lego, drawing cartoons, designing machines, right now, in his PJs he has all the wooden blocks and hundreds of marbles and is making an amazing marble run. Pure engineering with a touch of physics. He is adjusting and developing the design after each test muttering away to himself.
(ps – Charlies friend arrived after he had been going a couple of hours, and together they developed the marble run to spectacular and complex heights and played with it, uninterrupted, for another 5 hours, when they had to go to Cubs… What concentration, commitment, perseverance , focus and FUN!!!)
Hannah has had a game of marbles with me and Charlie, a shower and then she spends at least half an hour adorning herself in an amazing outfit. She has amazing clothes and puts them together with an eye for the quirky and the dramatic. Each days outfit has a description, eg vintage with a touch of steam punk, or ‘8os schoolgirl chic. Fascinating. Then she will make herself an amazing tray of breakfast and disappear off to her world of fan fiction blogs and other delights. She told me recently that she follows 180 blogs!!! Her life has always been full of books. And music. Today she has her piano lesson, so she toddles off on her bike. She also teaches guitar and ukulele to 4 younger children, goes to French lessons once a week, drama class and plays ukulele with us in a group. Hannah has had pet guinea pigs since we started homeschooling and is a conscientious pet owner.
Ollie will stagger out of bed, starving and sit and read while he eats. He has an army based exercise regime he is developing so may shut himself away with the clock and reappear 20 minutes later puffed out and relating how many press ups he can now do. All conversations are now punctuated by Tae Kwon Do moves – punches, kicks and references to exercises they did in class. He may make and /or film a survival kit (biggest passion) for You Tube (more on that in a later post ), or disappear up the road to a friends – they are making a series of films (will give you links to these too…)
When the weather was warmer he was often outside making a fire, a few extra kids there all cooking apples, potatoes and damper over the fire, endlessly discussing fire lighting techniques, survival tools, and other necessities of life. Today he is away doing Lazer Tag with a group of home schoolers, yesterday it was indoor soccer with his Scout pack. Three nights a week the three males of the house are out at either Tae Kwon Do or Scouts and Cubs.
Our lounge floor has always been covered in blocks and then either little army men (Ollie) or plastic animals (Charlie) and still is but with the addition of Lego a couple of years ago.
I totally see a child’s work as PLAY!
Anyone who has truly played with, or eavesdropped on, a child playing knows how valuable play is and how totally under valued it is in our busy modern culture. Our kids have played some incredible games over the years and I do mourn the passing of the older two children’s imagination in the sense that they no longer “play” the imaginative games they used to….All of them dressed up, 3 orphans traveling through war torn Switzerland, me the old lady (!!) who provides them with baskets of food. They would then picnic in the park next door, to the amusement of passing cars….
I may mourn the passing of dress ups and full scale army campaigns acted out in the lounge, but I am learning to relish each stage. And to remember that Charlie is still an imaginative child playing to his hearts content….
(Anyway Hannah still dresses up!! And she even wears face paint too…..it just happens to make her look about 17!!)
I am enjoying the next phase as the older kids grow and change. I love to see how they get more independent and confident. And to think how the world will be a better place for having them in it