Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Art of "Doing Nothing"

Last Tuesday Dave was off work. We have a million projects to do. Instead, we went to the beach.

It's been cold and raining but P's been asking to go to the beach for a while so I thought it was time we listened to her request. She's been a little hard to handle lately. P's definitely going through a phase. Teething? Growing? Seasonal? Who knows! She's literally been bouncing like mad and has way too much uncontrolled energy. I debated between going to an indoor play space or going to the beach. I'm glad I chose the beach because it was such a wonderful afternoon.

I imagined P running all over the place and burning off some of that pent up energy. Instead, to my surprise, she was focused on all her projects. First she built a "fishing pole" out of two sticks. Then that stick extension became a writing utensil. Then she was wading in the pools finding sea weed, shells, etc. And lastly we played a version of jump rope with long strands of kelp. Dave and I didn't get the rules of the jump rope game. Clearly 3-year old's rules and games are not meant for adults.

Watching her reminded me of how good these sort of outing are for children her age. As adults we forget how soothing it is for children to feel water, sand, sea weed, rocks, fish, the wind, etc. This kind of sensory stimulus is how they learn and continue to further all other kinds of intelligence, so to speak.

I use to go out all the time with her before she started school. We went to the beach, farm, museums, the park, etc. You would think that with the additional time off I have with her at school I'd be able to find more time to do this sort of wandering kind of activity. Instead, I feel I have less time. I'm thinking my focus these days is different than what it use to be. Maybe our house was more disorganized but I didn't realize it? Maybe I had gotten use to doing less things for me personally? Not sure. Either way, I need to find time to just be with her. I need to let her explore the world again at her pace and where she wants to.

Yesterday was perfect. We just hung out and we got to have Dave with us. When the three of us are together I forget about everything and everybody else around me. I love watching the two of them. I love taking their picture. I want to soak in every single second and preserve it for days in the way future when she's at college having a whole different set of experiences that are good for her.