The other day my son rode into town on his tricycle with just a superhero cape and shoes… nothing else. It didn’t faze him one bit. I of course was aware of all the smiles, snickers and surprised looks from neighbours, passing cars, and cyclists. But hey, we live in a tiny village and the ten people we saw I’m sure got a kick out it, whether they approved or not.
We’re lucky that we have acreage set back from the road where we can live in our own little bubble, where our kids can be naked and explore at will. I want their days to be filled with exploration. I want them to venture off and play in the stream for hours on end, nibbling on watercress as they find it and come home covered in mud with a collection of odd treasures they insist on keeping.
We sat in the garden a few days ago, watching a snake make its way through one of the garden beds. I was busy trying to get the rest of the garden ready for planting; digging trenches, watering, weeding and tending to my seedlings… the last thing I wanted to do was break away from these chores to chase snakes with the kids! Not to mention, do you know how much uninterrupted work I could get done while they chased that snake? But I have to remind myself to stop and participate in these moments, take it in, experience and share in their joy and excitement over this beautiful creature. We watched the snake recoil and snap in our direction numberous times. My son asked if he could pick it up, the same child who has been scared of everything the past few months… and there he went. He picked up that snake with ease, examined it for some time, showed his little sisters, and put it back down. We watched in silence as it slowly made its way off under a neglected tarp. They were so excited. Even the girls who have yet to begin talking were waving their arms, pointing and making the sign for ‘more’. Each morning since then, they’ve run to that tarp to find the snake and even though they haven’t found it, they’re not disappointed. Their curiosity spurs conversation and we find ourselves gardening together, talking about snakes, grass, water, trees, life and death. This is my favourite part of parenting thus far 🙂
Documentary Family Photographer, Sarah Tacoma, is based in the Georgian Bay area, covering Grey and Bruce Counties and the rest of Ontario.