Backin the day when we homeschooled, a parenting schoolgraduate of mine (and dear friend) took the kids for 10 hours a weekto explore the world. Yael would take my three darlings out to nature trails,places of work, and anywhere that magnetized them, to learn from the serendipitousmagic of whatever came up. My directions to her were always the same, “Forme to consider this day with you a successful one, you are required to dotwo things: return my children to me dirty and injured”..
That’sall I ever wanted from her. To return my children to me dirty and injured.Dirty and injured, to me, means that my kids engaged their bodies, exploredtheir world; touched, tasted, smelled, and saw the important stuff. Dirty andinjured, for me, means my children moved their bodies and were moved by nature.I always tell parents in my parenting groups on the radio show I had back before becoming a nomadic family;” kids are meant to fall off bikes andfall out of trees”.
Ibelieve that is something we have forgotten about.
Kidsare supposed to fall down (and learn to get up); they are supposed to get dirty(so don’t buy them designer brand names you’ll be upset if they soil). Our children will have the rest of their livesto sit quietly behind a screen and work and be responsible, and be organized, andclean.
Now, is their time to be children. Messy, curious, inventive, creative, noisy, dirty,children. Children who are in contact with Mother Earth and with their bodies;children who engage their imaginations.
Here are some pictures from an afternoon around the cabana. We are in Alto Boquete inNorthern Panama, and my kids are doing exactly what they are supposed to bedoing.
It may seem mundane and boring, but for me, this is the exciting stuff: that my kids can still be highly entertained, by themselves, outside, for hours in the dirt. I love it!