We spent a good few hours in the woods this morning with a bunch of friends. The kids made dens, ran around getting muddy, swung on a rope swing, had adventures and generally behaved as kids should do in a woodland. Mums either standing close to the fire watching over little ones cooking marshmallows or sausages on sticks or watching younger ones in more distant parts of the woods.
A couple of times, Monkey (now 8!) and her buddy came back with some rubbish they had found in the woods. The first time bits of broken glass, covered in mud held carefully in their little hands as they walked over to us. The second time a jar and a beer can.
On the drive home, Monkey said that she and her friends were going to set up a club for the days they are in those woods (about once a month) and their aim was to look after the woods by doing things such as picking up litter.
Proud too of my little boy as he and 2 friends worked out how to move a tyre out of one area of woods across brambles and rough woodland floor to another area of woods where their camp was. 3 boys aged 6, 4 and 2 working in wonderful harmony, stopping to play frequently and explore the mud that had been inside the tyre for who knows how long! But then back to the task of manoevering the tyre, lifting it, rolling it and getting it to their desired destination. Then, achievement made, they played.
I asked him what he had thought he had learnt today. He thought it was just play, so I helped him realise it was so much more. They couldn’t have got the tyre to the camp without working together. They had to agree the jobs each was to do and get on with them. They did not argue whilst doing the task, so they must have been happy when one wanted to stop and play. Such amazing skills of communication, cooperation, role assignment, sharing, working together!
Love seeing the little things, the things that matter, the good and the horrible as all part of growing up and older together.
Especially love being out in the woods, with friends and their kids all playing.