But now I am mostly at the window
Watching the late afternoon light.
~Billy Collins :: "On Turning Ten"
I think this photo really captures where Willow is these days, watching dust motes in the late-day sun. There is something shifting within her, something changing, a tumble out of early childhood into this middle world where things don't feel quite right. There was a good while where play was hard or disintegrating for her. She wanted to join, but couldn't sink into things or struggled with conflict when she did. The warm weather has been a help in that way--the children are spending a lot of time outside making up their own games. I watched Willow take hold of something on the ground and give a tug over at the Roland Estate. They spent a long time pulling wild onions and collecting many pine cones. They were so involved in their play, they almost didn't notice as I walked by them.
I'm reading, among other things, I am Different from You, which is a book on middle childhood and the experiences children have around nine and ten. I love the world of early childhood, who wouldn't? But, there is more to life than things seen in a gauzy pinkness. I still have two children there, of course, but Willow needs me in a different way. The end of Autumn and beginning of Winter was characterized by nightmares, worry, and other oddities. In a recent consultation, I was able to discuss her seeming fall from paradise and ways that we have coped with it. Right on time, the third grade year will tackle this fall by grounding the child on Earth. We're looking forward to all the gardening, spinning, dyeing, and other projects we might tackle, along with the long-awaited creation stories.
She was so sweet the other day, so full of wonder as she watched the sparkling dust. Fairies--that's what she says they are. I have no wish to tell her otherwise. There are times that I think part of being a good adult is remembering what it is to be a child.