Thursday, January 10, 2008

something new

rocks. i'm always surprised and somewhat grounded by the mass appeal of this very basic gift from nature. i don't know why i am surprised anymore, you would think by the third child i would come to expect it, but no, i again laugh at myself and at the simplicity of the situation when we take all of the children to the glorious pool (four pools, actually, and fountains to splash in, jacuzzis, and a children's pool) and my babies first priority is to sit and play with rocks. funny, too, how i could gauge the passerby's child-rearing status, even if they didn't appear to have any children with them by their reaction to the girls. there were those who would nod their heads, laugh to themselves, or elbow their spouse, and say "remember when so-and-so used to do that?" then there were those who would kind of gawk, or stare, and very obviously didn't understand why these children would rather sit and play with the silly pile of rocks rather than take advantage of the magnificent man-made experiences. so i started to wonder really, what was the appeal? i think the purely natural element of them, for one thing, is refreshing in a society filled with mass-produced, brightly colored, plastic "look at me!" contraptions. rocks are soothing, and can be anything a child needs for them to be. for piper, i think, they seemed to fill more basic, developmental needs, the ones you would expect from a 10-month-old: teething, and sorting. picking them up and placing them down. but for apple, they were so much more, almost a familiar and comforting way to ease into the new surroundings, especially considering she is somewhat reserved when it comes to the water. once she had seemed to "settle in" to the environment, she abandoned the rocks and was ready, eventually, to brave her way into the shallow end of the pool. it was just a reminder to me, once again, that if we give our children time, trust, and space, they will counter with confidence, growth, and willingness.

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