This morning, my girls grabbed a tray of rocks from the top of the piano. They settled on the couch, touching the rocks and oohing and ahhing over their beauty.
My mind immediately started telling me Get the rock and mineral guide off the shelf – this would be a great opportunity to talk about rock identification….or suggest they sort them….or start researching rock books at the library.
Luckily, Natalie interrupted my over-active teacher brain and asked for a couple dust cloths.
Whoa. Take a breath.
How easy it is to slip into the mindset of leading the activity instead of just following my girls’ lead. Let this exploration belong to them.
My girls continued with their rock admiration, setting the rocks out on a tray and polishing each one. As they worked, they talked:
I wonder why this one has stripes…
This one is so light!
Let’s put all the see-through ones together.
Since the girls were busy and engaged, I was tempted to leave – to go empty the dishwasher or catch-up on e-mail or read a few blogs. But I stayed and listened. I admired the rocks, too. I followed their lead and wondered and asked questions. I didn’t lead, but I was present.
If I had left, I would have missed Natalie turning to me and saying, “I just love rocks so much! They are awesome!”
I would have missed Delaney telling me that she was certain the rock she was holding had special powers “in some magical, mysterious way.”
This morning was a good reminder for me – be present, be engaged, follow my children’s lead.
Follow your child’s lead. Be curious together. Listen. Be fully present.
Will you try it this weekend? I know I will.