Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pocket Treasures

While pregnant with Alexander, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what it would be like to raise a boy.   One of my favorites was to think about the treasures that boys seem to collect in their pockets.  I imagined doing the laundry and finding rocks, twine, and paperclips and thinking how those collections seem to capture one of the best things about childhood-- that treasures are found everywhere and are defined by the beholder.   I secretly hoped that Alexander would store little treasures in his pocket for me to find and save for him at the end of each day.  

And he has. 

Not every day, but always when I least expect it.  And each time it just leaves me with a sense of awe at the wonderful heart that lays inside of this special boy.  

The first were little seeds dropped from trees in the school play yard.  Next were seeds saved from cutting apples at school.  And after that, little seeds from a sorting job at school.  And after that, seeds from a watermelon slice that he ate in the backyard.  With each of these treasures, he shyly pulled them out of his pocket, showed them to me, beamed at my response and then asked to plant them in our garden.  We planted every single one.

He has also found "beautiful" rocks and pebbles and has carefully saved each one in his pocket and shyly shown each one to me at some point during the day.  I just love those moments--when a personal treasure of his is revealed like a precious secret.  To be allowed into his world is amazing and so special.  

But my all time favorite was yesterday when Alexander called to me in the middle of the night to ask that I not wash his pants.  He said he had placed a woodchip in his pocket because it was shaped like a heart. 

I just loved that.  I love that he notices such small things in this world that others overlook and that he found a treasure and beauty in a woodscrap.    

I hope he always values the little things and makes life a pocket full of treasures.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fun at the lake

We are so lucky to just live a few minutes from a beautiful lake with a sandy beach for the kids. We made it there a couple of times this week and had so much fun watching the boats go by, digging in the sand and hearing the very tame geese honk and swim.  A couple of cute things happened while we were there...

While stepping ever deeper into the water, Avery would pause every few steps to say "this water is cold!  Really, REALLY cold!"  She was the only one brave enough to get her feet wet for more than a second or two.  She is definitely our water bug!

Alexander initiated play with a couple different groups of older kids on the beach.  This is something we have gently worked on for a year or so (he would often want to go home from the park or the pool if new kids came along) and I wanted for him to acknowledge and praise this development in himself without making a big deal about it.   I also wanted for him to know that he knew how to do it-- it wasn't just happening by accident or by help from me or from the initiation of other kids. So I said, "I notice you're not feeling so shy these days with new kids.  I notice you're having fun making lots of friends these days at the park and museum and beach. That is great, Alexander!  So, I was wondering.  Sometimes I find that I feel a little shy when I meet new people. Do you have any advice for me on how to make friends when I meet someone new?" And he said quite confidently while carrying and pouring large bucketfuls of water, "Well, first you find someone you like.  Then you watch them to see what they're doing.  And then you find a way to join them.  You can kind of like help them."  I was absolutely floored.  In just three sentences he boiled down, summarized, and absolutely owned everything we had been talking about for over a year.   He is just blossoming in his relationships with others and I couldn't be more thrilled for him.