Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Nice Day: Showing Confidence in Children

Hanover, my girl going to public school, had spring break recently. It was lovely to have her home for the whole week. As a coincidence, she still has two good friends from her private school prior to homeschooling. They also had spring break at the same time. I was able to invite both girls to hang out for one of the days. It was a lot of fun.

The girls got along quite well and they included Flurpee (the younger one) and she did not even feel left out much (a huge issue usually). We had to break up our day by taking everyone to Flurpee's orthodontist appointment. It was funny to have five kids in the car--one of the reasons I went with a 3-row SUV.

The day was gorgeous and after we went to the dentist, I mentioned heading to a park but Hanover nixed all of our town parks: ugly and boring. I can't argue. The parks in our town are quite old and ill-maintained. One of our guests remembered a park near the orthodontist's. She had not been there in many years (basically, since she was five!) and was not quite sure if she knew where it was.

All of the kids were excited to find this park because it sounded like fun (a big wooden adventure set). I was a little concerned that we could end up driving around for no reason. I could get lost. We could miss our chance to play at a park I knew. The kids could have run out of play time while we were driving around. Yet, I decided to give it a shot. Sure, any of those things could happen. If we were driving for a long time, I could decide to stop. If we were making a lot of turns I couldn't track, I would have turned around. Instead, I put my trust in this 10 year-old and let her give it her best.

And we found it! And the kids had a blast. The towers helped feed their imaginations and they decided to be princesses and maids with an evil Queen. The Queen had a favorite princess and was very demanding of her maids. The maids had to help her control the princesses. Omega (2 1/2 years old now) wandered every where. I almost never saw him. He climbed, slid, jumped, and meandered. I cannot imagine how gratifying it was for our friend to have an adult listen to her, trust her enough to drive around out of the way, and, in the end, to succeed and be an integral part of her friends' fun day.