Sandbox Life Lessons

It was finally nice out here today, so the kids and I played outside for about three hours.  We skipped nap time and everything.  That alone tells you how badly we needed some sunshine and warm weather.

At one point during the day, all three kids were in our tiny sandbox.  In the span of about three minutes, I noticed a couple of things.

Ben was so methodical and precise in the way he quietly moved the sand from here to there, then from there to here.  His motor skills are still on par with a 13-month-old, but his intention was so…determined?  Mature?  I’m not sure exactly how to put it, but it was really quite impressive.

Then there was a crash in the yard behind ours, where our neighbour was doing some yard work.  Right away, Emma jumped up and yelled out, “You okay guy?”  She looked at me and her eyes (which can say quite a lot) were saying, ‘Should we go over there mom?’ until I explained that the noise was just him throwing some glass into a garbage can.  Then she relaxed and went back to playing.  She’s just so concerned for everyone’s well being and so willing to help any person, animal, bug or toy out in any way she can.

Next I noticed how Ruby just used the sand over and over to make “a cake for my family,” “a pie for my friend,” or “a bed for my pet ladybug.”  It was a true reflection of how sweet and generous she is, but also, how she mimics everything I do.  One of the primary ways that I show them I love them is by making things for them, with care and thought.  All at once I was hit full force with how important it is that I set the right example for all of them.  It also struck me that she appreciates the little things I do for them.  You moms know that appreciation is not always at the forefront of the vocalized feelings around most homes, particularly from the ones who benefit from your existence the most.

Anyway, I was just sitting there thinking how fleeting my opportunities to witness this would be if they were in day care.  Even if an outsider noticed these little intricacies, it could never be conveyed to me with as much meaning as actually seeing it go down would.  And I am so glad that I can be there, for them, to appreciate how cool they are, and to pour my admiration and adoration all over them in a big, sloppy, lovely mess.

I know that in some families, it just can’t work.  And trust me, it ain’t no walk in the financial park for us these days.  But when I think if someone asked me if I’d be willing to trade those three hours, for $60.00, $75.00 even $100.00, I’d say absolutely, positively not.

Now ask me about the three hours I just spent trying to get them bathed and into bed, and I may have a different answer.

Just thought you might want to know.



4 thoughts on “Sandbox Life Lessons

  1. What a lovely portrait of the essence of parenthood! This is why we also chose that path. There is not enough money in the world to pay for the priceless process of raising children, and there are never regrets. Thank you for sharing this so beautifully!

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