Tuesday, February 22, 2011


lately Dennison (my husband) and I have been questioning exactly when to reign in our free-spirited two year old. Sawyer is so full of life! It thrills us to watch her jump and dance and sing and hug and LIVE! When we go to library storytime, she is hand-in-hand with the librarian- counting the other children, encouraging them to sing, vigorously shaking her tambourine. She seems so much...bigger than some of the other children.

I never dreamed someone so small could be so big. As a child, I was a reader. When I was growing up, if I did something that warranted punishment, my mom would withhold my books from me. "Go outside and play" was doom and gloom. It wasn't that I minded being outside, I just wanted to swing in the hammock and read while outside.

Sawyer has so much energy and life in her tiny body. It's a constant balance of letting her fly free and reeling her in, much like flying a kite. If you allow a kite too much leeway, it will get tangled in a tree or stolen by the wind. Not enough freedom, and the kite will never really take off- just skip roughly along the ground.

Every week we go to a preschool education program at the local zoo. It's designed for three to five year olds, but Sawyer has been doing a wonderful job actively participating, so I'm going to continue taking her. Usually only four other children attend with her, so it's a great environment to learn and explore. Last week, however, a mother's group attended, bringing at least thirty extra children in attendance. Needless to say, this greatly strained the relaxed, peaceful environment usually present.

I watched another "hippie mamma" at the table across from us. Hippie mammas can be spotted from a mile away. Usually wearing some sort of a baby carrying apparatus wrapped around our bodies. Something in our vibe or aura. Maybe it's from defending our right to nurse in public, or people questioning why on earth we would strap ourselves to our children during the day, or sleep with them at night. Regardless, sometimes hippie mammas wear a "don't jack with me" attitude along with their baby. This mamma did.

The class instructors specifically directed all children to free play with the homemade play-dough, water table, and puzzles for the first fifteen minutes of the class. The craft, painting a whale cut-out blue, was prepared and already pre-set on the table. The mamma nudged her son toward the painting table. He hesitated. I SAW the hesitation in his face. He knew he was going against the grain. Breaking the rules. He was wary. His mamma said "it's okay, go ahead and paint". A few brush strokes passed, when the teacher announced again "please stay away from painting until painting time" Again, he hesitated, and again his mamma encouraged. Another mother specifically addressed the mamma, stating that painting "wasn't allowed right now". The son set his paintbrush down, and went to work on puzzles. His mamma called him back, and told him to continue painting. She said "there's not enough activities for everyone. If they didn't want you to paint right now, they should have had more to do".

My heart ached for this little boy. His whole life he will be going against the grain. Like it or not. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm totally for questioning authority and re-thinking the way it "has" to be. HOWEVER, for the sake of our children and in respect of others, sometimes we must conform our way of life and thinking to others.

I want Sawyer to understand that she can run and jump and sing and play- just not in someone else's personal space (or at least not TOO much in another's personal space). I want her to question authority- as long as she can respect chosen leaders. Every week, we make a point to thank each "teacher" we come into contact with. It's so important to learn respect for our leaders. Leaders at the library. Leaders at the zoo. I firmly believe that if you are respectful toward others, people will grant you allowances. This will let you dance. and sing. and laugh. and question...and soar like a kite.


1 comment:

  1. hi heather! loved the perspective of this post! i just came across your blog via the momsclub meetup website :-)


our goals are simple

as women, mothers, and friends, our goals are simple:

love our husband(s) and babies. be kind and generous to those in our lives. to learn and to help teach. strengthen our faith and the faith of our family. be gentle to the earth and its inhabitants. stop and smell the roses (or at least the crayons!)