I want to thank my father for the wonderful words he always offers me; the advice and care, and thoughtfulness of my situation. He reminds me that I don't need to be doing 'projects' with the kids all the time, that the general everyday living is life in itself. I think back to my childhood, and we didn't have planned craft activities; we adventured and explored and watched and learnt and were involved in the life around us. My parents didn't read how-to parenting books, or activity books; they just did what they did and we were there doing it too. I suppose they also watched what we, as children, naturally wanted to do, to learn or explore and supported that :: the building of roads in the mud for our Matchbox cars, or houses and clothes for our Barbie dolls, or making fairy houses in the garden, or going for walks in the forest and telling stories, and finding treasures, or looking through endless books that fueled all of our imaginations. Too many books, and stories and memories to even begin naming; collected over many lifetimes that both my parents seemed to live. And also, very importantly, my parents left us alone and didn't constantly prompt us in what we should be doing or thinking or feeling or wanting. They let us go off up the hill, down the creek, across the ridge, around the corner; and out into the world on our own.
originally written 10th July