The boys have been really big on dressing up lately. I find that there is an ebb and flow to their play, where they are constantly dressing and re-dressing the entire day long for weeks, and then they switch to drawing or building with blocks as the main focus. It's wonderful to watch them play, especially when they are working together and not squabbling as they were doing near the end of that very long winter. Ollie has been quite dedicated to being 'the very bravest knight' and tells everyone he meets about his very important role. He slays an endless stream of dragons and wears his basket helmet with immense pride as he runs around the house screaming and being knocked down by invisible dragons (:
We have been reading Snow White and Rose Red; In the story there is a prince cloaked in a resplendent golden suit, so of course Jude has been dressing in his own golden armour and walking proudly around the farmyard. It is absolutely delightful, and while I sometimes play with them, mostly I leave them be in their sacred play world. There is no shortage of information out there concerning the importance of imaginary and creative play, and I love to watch their naturalness develop and flourish in front of my eyes. No back-to-back structured activities for my wild free-range boys!
We make costumes and masks, spend lots of time outside just being, draw and paint and play.
I remember the days when Isabella was small and immersed herself in her own amazing imaginary world; Her drawings literally blew my mind; She would draw Buddhists flying over clouds and Egyptians in the desert performing odd ceremonies, circus performers, intricate illustrations of animals and children, princesses and tribal people in engaging scenes. She would first draw the picture in pen or ink and then fill in the entire scene with coloured pencils. It would take her hours and she was so peaceful. She is 13 now and very much interested in fashion and her circle of friends; she has let go of that special small-child world of pure creativity. I cherish passionately the memories I have of her early days, and having the wisdom of knowing how quickly children grow and transform, I try to let the boys be little and wild and real without too much headiness or worrying that they might be missing or needing something that I cannot provide. I did that too much when my Bella was little. I was young and she was my first child; I loved her so, I wanted everything to be perfect, I wanted her to he happy and safe and full of only good things. I was in a state of perpetual self-doubting and guilt that I wasn't providing enough. I was silly. Children are wonderful and resilient and all that they are, all by themselves, right from the beginning (: