|chloe and my mom, eating peaches and playing with our cloth napkins... they enjoy each other very much.|
the other day my mother and i took chloe to a local orchard to pick some fruit... or should i say, that chloe and i took my mother... or that chloe took my mother and i. this little girl of mine seems as though she was born to
live on run a farm. from the moment she hopped onto the hay-ride which trucks it's gaggle of mamas, papas, and little ones out to the orchards, you could see the happiness on her face. she laughed and threw hay at my my mother, her "nanie", and once we got our to the peach field she caught onto picking very quickly. she picked peaches and helped us by taking the ones we had picked and putting them into our basket. when i would periodically prune through our basket to make room for larger and riper peaches (tossing a bruised or bug eaten one into the trees) she would get very upset and run to go pick it up. she didn't understand - she wanted to keep them all.
we walked back to the road with our basket overflowing with peaches... a peach dropping here and there, my mother or myself taking care to distract chloe so she wouldn't notice the missing piece. we waited for the tractor and hay-filled trailer to come around to retrieve us, and then decided to continue walking up the road. chloe's boots puttered away on the dirt and gravel road until we reached the next field where a few others waited. chloe ran down the path through the peach trees while we waited, me and my mom taking turns to retrieve her every few minutes, just in case the tractor would come around the bend. we waited a long time. waiting is the hardest part for chloe. most of her melt-downs take place while waiting.
in the line at the grocery store. when she is dressed and ready to go and i am tying my shoes and retrieving our bags. when we are at the carnival and we are in line to get on a ride. she has made up her mind, prepared, and is ready to go - so let's go. if you ever ask her if she is "ready?", her reply in fact will be "set... go!"
that day i let her play in the dirt while we waited. i let her throw pebbles into the road. i let her wear her boots on the wrong feet when she insisted on doing so. i let her wander a little bit more than i might usually (since i could easily see her). my mom and i talked about her, about how i mother her... about challenges, fears, hopes. my mother and i have our differences when it comes to parenting, but she did encourage me to continue doing what i am doing, or trying to do... allowing chloe to experience as much as she can and not rush her.
this doesn't mean that chloe runs the show, but it does mean that i allow time for her to poke around, observe, and discover. it means me living at a slower pace most times. sometimes it means i don't get to check everything off my list that day, and there is nothing wrong with that. sometimes it means making a game out of doing something that is hard, like waiting. sometimes it means telling a story or finding an activity as we transition from doing one thing to another. sometimes i means giving her a little bit of space and some time to look at something that has caught her eye. i guess it all comes down to patience. waiting. the same thing i am trying to teach her. not just how to wait, but how to do it with some grace. being patient as she learns, being patient as she develops... waiting and hoping that what i am doing will be the best thing for her.