Tag Archives: Children’s play

Building a Boat


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Nicholas has always had a bit of a fascination with boats.  He will spend hours sitting quietly studying the details of boats whenever he is given the chance and has produced many wonderful sketches of boats and their surrounds.  A couple years ago we lived by the waterfront, right across the road from a quiet anchorage and he spent hours, days, weeks even, quietly observing each and every boat. If a new one came in, he knew immediately or if one was missing, he spotted it. He would discuss boat designs in detail with his Pa, who knows a thing or two about this subject, and they would kayak around the boats discussing the designs of each.

Recently this fascination has turned to a new direction – a desire to build his own model boat. A desire which I’m sure he will fulfil in good time, but at the moment he is studying designs, plans, kits and weighing up the pros and cons of each. It will be interesting to see the result of all this planning and thinking. In the meantime though, I’m enjoying being his Mum and observing him grow and develop into his own unique person, with his own creative ideas and the ability to turn these ideas into reality.

With his head spinning with model boat plans and a quiet afternoon to fill, he joined forces with his younger brother and built these. The craft cupboard supplied the pegs; the toothpicks came from the kitchen and my sewing room was raided for fabric sails. Quick and easy model boats which then provided many hours of creative play for brothers and sister alike.

Watermarks on the Art Book

“Come and look Mum!”

Brush still in hand and paint dripping down to his elbow, he gazes longingly through the kitchen window.

“Mum, come now, please. Come and see what I’ve painted.”

The littlest one rattles at the door desperate to go outside and join the big brother. He sees freedom and fun. I simply see the mess that would ensue.

“Just wait a while. I’ll come out soon, by myself.” My reply floats between open kitchen window and craft table outside.

The words seem stuck in mid-air. Just wait. . . . Wait-a-minute. . . . I’ll be there soon. . . . . These statements come far to often from my lips. So I bundle up courage and open the door allowing littlest one to slip out with lightening quick movement before the door gets closed again.

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This day began with the littlest one climbing out of his cot, a new-found skill which he is rather proud to show off, at a way-too-early hour. Grumpiness, tiredness and a general attitude which I’ve translated as ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself’ make the next few hours a challenge to keep up with this boy.

Milk tipped over the bench, laundry powder sprinkled through the dryer and two rooms, bookshelves emptied and their contents strewn across the floor, computer turned off while it was being used by big sister. . . . . This boy had it all happening this morning. Thus I was more than a little reluctant to let him anywhere near paint at this point in time.

Unmasked joy and pride was on full display as the big brother showed his artwork, explaining it all in the greatest detail. An artbook lay open beside him to provide inspiration and his tool of choice was a cotton wool bud. The result was remarkably similar to the Aboriginal art print which provided the guide.

I glance away for a mere second to observe the coming rain clouds.

A mere second glancing at the rain clouds proved far too long to leave this littlest one from direct view. Our beautiful artbook now has a murky, black-brown watermark flowing through almost every page. And two outfits permanantly stained with black not-able-to-wash-out paint.

But…. the joy evident in the eyes of the big brother make it all worthwhile. He showed off his artwork with deserving pride. How often is he the one who patiently waits while I am busy with the daily duties. He waits, but often I don’t make it to look. Today I did. An art book may now have murky, water stains adorning it’s pages. But that’s ok. It’s only a book, a book with a memory etched forever on it’s pages.

And sometimes, just sometimes, being a Mummy is all about this sort of thing. Giving the deserved attention to the little ones who need it. Then continue on to clean up the messes that are sure to happen. Delighting in the way that these children are growing, every single day.

 

And suddenly …. they grow

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I’m reflecting here today on the way these children grow and change before my very eyes, yet seemingly without me noticing it.

I know, hundreds of well-meaning people have given me the words of wisdom. You know the sort: “They grow up so quick.” “This won’t last forever, they’ll be grown before you know it.” etc.  But it appears the more I hear that and gently remind myself of such truths, the less I really ‘get it’.

Oh, I see them all day, every day. I know they grow because the shirt sleeves become too short in a far too quick period of time. I know they develop and learn because I’m the one that hears their excited proclamations when they figure something out and observes the slow and steady progress of learning letters and putting them together in some meaningful fashion which we call reading. Oh, yes, I know they grow.

But then, almost uninvited, I’m hit with the reality of it all. Suddenly, without consulting their Mummy, they mature. I’m sure it was just yesterday this was my little tot. Full of cuddles and never, ever, ever too far from my side. Today, it seems he’s a grown boy. A big BOY. How did that happen? I glimpsed it in this unplanned few moments of time away from his siblings, he just oozed all that ‘boyishness’ that he has grown into.

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{This Moment}

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
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This Moment

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Oops. I’ve broken my own rules here today and felt the need to add two photos.

Inspired by Soule Mama

A New Perspective

 

“I …can …see …for…e…ver.”

The words came floating across the yard in a disjointed fashion. Jumps on the trampoline punctuating a pause between each word breathlessly shouted loud.

It’s all about perspective.

The blond hair tousled by the breeze and the all important work of a five year old, who at that moment was completely absorbed in the view which his high jumping position afforded him. Eyes alight with the innocent joy and delight of childhood. Words tumbling forth without any thought to whom they were directed. Just exclamations of pure delight.

It’s all about perspective.

The excitement held within his voice indicated a view of magnificence. A view across the miles – maybe a mountain range, valley or possibly a view of the ocean beyond.

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Ahhh, but my ‘grown up’ mind was planted firmly in reality and knew that the view wasn’t really worth writing home about. Just the neighbours paddock and a couple horses which call that patch of grass home. But the ‘childlike’ mind of my delighted 5 year old realised this view was something special – to him at least. The first jump on the trampoline in this new home of ours, provided him the freedom of seeing past the fence, to the horizon far beyond. He could see for…e…ver…

Perspective. It’s a strange concept because even the utterance of the word is framed by our own ideas and beliefs about what it means. Perspective means something different for you and it’s different again for me or my children. A successful property investor would probably view the ‘For Sale’ sign down the street differently to me. The entrepreneur businessman would probably have a different perspective on a conversation between a group of friends. The perspective of our new town is different between my husband, myself and our children (as we drove through for the first time we each noted very different things, distance to work, good farmers market, parks etc.). Our beliefs, values, memories of past experiences, what we have learnt and who we are deep within, all meld together to make up the filters through which we view the world around us.

The simple innocence of taking on a child’s perspective and suddenly I can see beyond the steel-grey fence surrounding my little patch called home. I can see forever, if I just jump.

I thought the view beyond my fence was just a paddock – dry, parched, brown and dusty. But, oh no, the perspective of my little one gives this view wings. Those dried out grass fronds are food for the horses. The horses are a sign of life, living, freedom and fun (in the mind of my little one, anyway). The view to the horizon may not have much of interest in it. Dry and flat, very flat, very very flat, farmland punctuated by houses and buildings, as far as the eye can see. But, oh no, that view is to the end of the world, the place where the sky joins the earth, the path to the unknown, mystery, excitement and adventure.

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Perspective. I’ve decided today that I need to open my eyes a little wider and view this world around me with a different perspective. To view my situation, my actions, the people around me through the eyes of someone different – maybe the perspective of someone I admire greatly, someone hugely successful in some area of life, maybe the childlike optimism which I’m surrounded by constantly, maybe the eyes of someone now given a second chance at life.

Join me in determining to view the everyday, ordinary aspects of our lives with a different perspective. Turn the view of an ordinary fence into a view of … forever…. of abundant possibilities.