us saying good bye to our house guest
who managed in one short week to
• almost break his arm doing jumps on his bike
• fall into a creek just before tennis (which he then played, left handed and dripping wet)
• go on a hike where he…
ran down a very very very steep hillside
swung from vines (so that everyone else had to swing from vines…).
and looked at a view.
He also managed to
• play hours and hours and hours and hours of piano (left-handed) and drums (left-handed).
• teach my boy two new piano pieces, composed by him
• be outwitted (but only barely) by me in countless games of Abalone (well, I counted, and it was 8 games, of which I won 5)
• swim and dive and frolic (when his arm was better) two days in a row (which meant my kids swam and dove and frolicked too)
• help my kids make a board game for my husband's birthday…
which involved planning, designing, discussing, inventing, enjoying, laughing
and which my husband loved
(that's my husband concentrating because the game is complicated!)
• give my girl's soft toys whole new personalities
(like her favourite husky dog who, in his hands, became a rapper with a profound fear of corn and a need to sing, non-stop, songs about his fear of corn)
• enchant my kids so that bedtime became later…and later…and later
• and make us laugh so much I cried
(yeah, he enchanted me too. He's a good, good kid.)
us going to the Big Smoke,
for our first ever baptism,
…where we watched a gorgeous, two-toothed baby smile delightedly to the gaggle of kids crowded at the pastor's feet
…and where we listened to a sermon,
…which was my kids' first time, and which led to a big, rambling talk with them on the drive home about faith and judgement and Jesus and differences and Christians and Muslims and Holy Books, and good and bad and truth and forgiveness, love and kindness
(and I felt full-to-bursting with pride at how much my kids aren't afraid to wonder, and question, and embrace, and respect. I do love them so)
and us returning
from the Big Smoke
…where the kids instantly went to their favourite things in the world:
My girl, her art. My boy, his books
…and where my girl designed a wedding chapel for her toys, complete with flower arbour, so that Silver and *other doggy I don't remember the name of* could get married
…and then she could barely eat her dinner
and had to go bed…
at the not-even-dark-out hour of 7pm…
because she was an incredibly over-tired, over-swum, over-laughed, over-hiked, over-art-ed and over-happy-ed little girl.
And my boy stayed up late to draw…
a near-flawless picture of Obelix
and then he went to bed.
With a busy, beautiful week behind us…
in which the kids "didn't do any school work!"
(this being what they kept saying, as they described their week with our guest. Like it was extraordinary, insane, just plain kooky.)
And I wonder…
Will they ask to do school work tomorrow?
Will they want to be free in the way I imagine and hope?
I have a list of all the things they want to do this term—make things with clay, finish writing a book, make a car with a motor, sew a skirt, draw cartoons, read history, discover graphic novels, play games.
Will it count, for them, as learning? Or will they marvel at the end of the day, "We didn't do school work today either!"
will they ask for structure or will they relish space?
will my son seek out his workbooks and timetable?
and will my daughter do any maths ever again?
What will the Freedom Experiment bring?
It sure will be a lot quieter than the week we just had.
It could be scary.
It might be extraordinary.
Or the most unusual, unexpected,
and of everything that is