Sunday, 28 September 2008

It's been a busy week. Especially for middle boy, Max, who is 4. He has been in school all day every day this week for the first time, and that's been hard. He is very tired. So surely he should spend Saturday resting and doing calm, quiet activities..... hmmmm I don't think Max knows the meaning of calm and quiet. Actually, we understand that because he's had a hard week learning and following new rules and becoming institutionalised what he really needs is to be set free for a bit. So we pack up half the house and set out for the nearby woods. As soon as we arrive and the boys are wellied up they are running. Thats when we know they needed this.

We meet up with our friends who have a huge variety of axes for chopping trees up into firewood and the boys get chopping. There was only one scary axe moment when Toby (almost 7) was swinging his axe slightly too close to Max's head. "Toby!" I shout, "thats a bit too close to Max's head". "I told him to move", he shouts back. Obviously Max did not move, so Toby decided to continue swinging his axe anyway. ( Don't worry, for the health visitors and social workers amongst you, I did intervene and move Max out of the way.)

After the novelty of the axes has worn off Dad decides to start a fire. This proves to be a success as all the boys, including Jonah who is 1 but has to do the same as his brothers, sit burning sticks and watching the flames for a very long time. And when it is time to go, what do we do with the fire? This is the best part for the boys..... and definitely something girls fail in miserably.... they stand around it and wee on it! It does the trick and the fire goes out nicely.

Is this a good idea for little boys? Yes. Why? Boys need a bit of danger and a lot of fresh air. What they didn't realise was that we were making sure they were safe the whole time and although they felt limitless there were actually alot of limits in place.

My boys do not 'rest' in the traditional sense of the word. This, to them, is a form of rest. They can open their wings and fly for a little while without having to conform or follow any rules. Even now, as I type, they are donning wellies again to go in the garden and look for frogs / make sticks into bows and arrows / make mudbombs or whatever it is they do. They need to have some safe time without adults intervening all the time. They can make their own choices, make their own mistakes, and hopefully learn from the consequences.


girlie said...

Yea! Have managed to sign on! Well done you, keep it up. I have a girl but identify with everything you've said...wish more people thought like you and had the guts to say it xx

forestfairy said...

Well done! You are right on track! It's a mother's job to teach, train and civilise boys, setting firm boundaries in place and then increasingly letting them fly, with decreasing supervision over the years. This way, they will make excellent husbands and fathers and many girls will thank you, and you will know you have done a great job.

forestgump said...

Great stuff. You are so right, keep writing. I remember doing stuff like that for hours when I was a young boy. Sometimes I would play for hours in the woods at the back of our garden. Looking forward to hearing more!