Sunday, November 20, 2011

a life of magic : wednesday

This one's mostly for the Babybook Pages.

Tuesday was a very, very fine day, and after that our week just stayed in the realm of magic.

Wednesday morning while I waited for the children to wake, I picked up my (the, though I am rather attached to it) recorder and started playing.
Learning to read and play music is very interesting.  Musical notes (arrangements) have been an absolutely foreign jibble-jumble to me my whole life.
Now when I am looking at the music, and playing, I find that I (my thinking head) seem to step outside of it, and my fingers seem to do their work on their own.  When I think about it, I stop, and shake my head, and feel scrambled, but it's as if there is some sort of understanding there, that I really have nothing to do with.
That makes no sense, does it?  But it's true.
Something else extraordinary is that when I hear the notes in my head (that are supposed to be played), if I don't think about it, I can find them almost easily sometimes with my eyes closed, and at other times I'm awash with confusion and can look at the notes on paper, and be righted again. (I should point out that on the recorder, notes aren't necessarily just "next to" each other like, say, the piano or guitar.)
I would think that it would be one or the other; that either by feel would be easier or more natural, or that staying with the notes on paper would be more helpful, but oddly enough they both happen at turns.
The whole thing feels incongruous and impossible (but pretty easy, none-the-less).  Very, very interesting to be learning something like this at the age of forty-three.
I learned three new songs that morning.

Over french toast and making chocolate chip cookies it was decided that we'd visit our beloved pool.
I love it that the babes can expend their energies pretty much however they like in the water... the level of "white noise" is so high that shouts and whoops are not bothersome to anyone, splashing is expected (though we've talked about being courteous to others), and one can generally move one's body however it feels good to do so in the water.  (float upside down with one's feet in the air, go fast, kick and splash with feet, float on tummy or back, swim against or with currents... whatever)... it's a wonderful way to exercise and use muscles.
And we love this particular new playground of ours.

The last time we were there, all four of the lap lanes were busy the whole time we were there.  While Trev swam next to the last lane, he really, really wanted a lap lane.  I reminded him that they weren't just for 'messing around' but for actually swimming laps.  "I want to swim laps!" he said.  I tried to talk him into being satisfied with laps next to them, but he really wanted that magic space for himself.
This day I noticed at one point that two of the lanes were empty, and didn't see anyone standing about that looked like they were still using the lap swim lanes. (They're standard, twenty-five yard swim lanes.)
"Hey look, Bud, there are two lanes open.  Want to swim in one?"
He did.

Eric says that he can swim like one lap before he's tired.  :)  Me, too, prob'ly.
I watched Trev for a minute, and thought to tell him (but didn't get the chance) to just flip over onto his back and swim backstroke if or when he got tired.  Most of that water was very deep, after all.
Silly, hmm?  That I wanted to tell him how to navigate?
Soon enough, I'd look and watch Trev, and he'd be either floating with no arm movements, or swimming backstroke in his lane.

That first time I watched him, I watched him swim ten or twelve laps straight, without stopping.  Then like five more.  (What's that, like a half hour of non-stop swimming?)
He got out, and went to find Maddie, and to float around for a bit.   Slide, swim in the current river, float around in the beach part ... I figured he was done (and exhausted).

It was decided that we'd leave, soon (twas suppertime), and Maddie went off to play with a little friend she met, and Trev to the slide.
Pretty soon, there went Trev, back to the lap lanes.  For another half hour or so.
It was so awesome to just watch this living going on.
Witnessing my children interact with the world around them, learning and growing.
Watching Trevelyn's improving strokes, and his getting more sure (efficient).  His movements aren't graceful, and he doesn't exactly glide (in his front stroke),  but just by doing he is improving.  He watches others, and he's trying the butterfly and breast stroke, and attempting different ways to move in the water.
So we go to the pool (and stay for three hours and fifty minutes, this time)  and my children learn how to get along with others and share a lap lane with two others via a swim circle, they use their manners and say "excuse me!", they run off to ask that little girl over there if she wants to play and become friends, and they navigate perfectly well (respectfully) around grumpy older people who think children shouldn't accidentally splash them (or that they should be in school).

While we were there, and as it got dark outside (one wall is windows) Maddie looked out, and said, "Oooh, it's the perfect time for a barbecue!  Mom--I'm having a barbecue tonight for my animals.  In the front yard."

A couple of hours later we were home, and guess what?  She did.
She drew a fire on a box, dragged out her table and chairs, foods, animals; and had a barbecue at 8:30-9:00 right there in the front yard.


The next morning.

Life is a beautiful thing, don't you think?


  1. Swimming is so grand. We miss ours in the cold weather.

    I so loved her BBQ. :)

  2. I loved your thoughts on swimming. I try to take the kids once a week (I know what you mean about grumpy old people wondering why my kids aren't in school). I love your descriptions of the movements and the things they are learning. How cool that Trev wanted (and did) swim laps!

    I love swimming - hated it at school - but love it now - the rhythm, the breathing, the feel of water. My kids love playing in the water. One day they might love swimming laps too.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!