As an AP parent, I think I am constantly trying to figure out the balance between being there for my kids vs. crowding my kids and not giving them a chance to explore and grow on their own. I start to feel guilty if I am not interacting with them at all times, and yet I know that they really benefit from time to just explore and learn. This passage from “Home Education” made me smile because it includes a pretty good description of our day. I am often knitting, reading, cross-stitching, ect., while they play outside. I sit on the patio and watch them as they play, but I sometimes feel guilty as though I should be directing their play more. This passage gave me a little extra persmission to relax
Oh, and I initially read it as though she was saying that the mom should “check” the childrens attempts to discuss, but she’s actually talking about checking the MOTHERS attempts. Duh.
There are few things sweeter and more precious to the child than playful prattle with her mother; but one thing is better–the communing with the larger Mother, in order to which the child and she should be left to themselves. This is, truly, a delightful thing to watch: the mother reads her book or knits her sock, checking all attempts to make talk; the child stares up into a tree, or down into a flower–doing nothing, thinking of nothing; or leads a bird’s life among the branches, or capers about in aimless ecstasy;–quite foolish, irrational doings, but, all the time a fashioning is going on: Nature is doing her part, with the vow–
“This child I to myself will take:
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own.” [Wordsworth]