Friday, March 10, 2006

Evie the Brave

We went to a DNR site yesterday for a program about maple syrup and tree tapping. The guide we ended up with had no idea how to talk to children, especially ones that don't go to school. All of the adult guides at the event (except for one playing the role of an Ojibwe elder) threatened the children with testing and then laughed. The more the adults talked the more withdrawn and scared Evie looked. Luckily Evie has a good friend in this group who came with us. The friend is brave and was seemingly unaffected by all the school garbage. I am pretty sure Evie would have ended up in tears, even though I was with her the whole time, if this friend hadn't been there. I really don't want to rehash everything that was wrong with this event. We got to tap a tree, taste sap, learn about Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk history, see sap being boiled into syrup and taste syrup--those were good things.

After we left we spent some time at the home of the friend we had come with. On the drive home Evie revived and when we were at the friend's house Evie was louder, bolder and braver than I think she has ever been outside of a place she knows very, very well (i.e. our house, her grandparents house, neighbors' houses). She initiated a complicated trapping system to catch a ghost the girls were pretending about. She went into the kitchen and got things out, she even threw candy around the living room to lure the ghost, all the time talking a mile a minute. This is not all that unusual in our house, it is VERY unusual in a house she doesn't know well. I hope the other mom wasn't to put out, she seemed to be into the game too. It was like Evie had to have some MAJOR control over a situation. I am so glad it was okay to do that at this friend's house.

We did a few errands after we left the home of our friend and Evie continued to be a "take charge," bold, "move things along" kid. If you don't know her it is hard to explain how this is different from her normal self, she is usually quietly confident and competent, not quite so . . .bold I guess. She was practically sparking with energy when we got home and she flew around putting things away, wrapping some presents she had bought, writing things down, talking, talking, talking. We ate dinner and then we both collapsed. Evie watched "The Superfriends," interestingly that is always a sure sign she is exhausted. I think she likes to see other people working out major problems when she is most tired.

It was an interesting day. I am SO glad school is not a daily occurence at our house. I am so sad that school and school-talk is the status quo in our society. I am so glad Evie is a free child, a free spirit and a grounded soul. Yesterday showed me that she is becoming more confident in who she is, she is building supportive relationships outside our dyad, she is capable of working through complex emotions in creative ways and she maintains a healthy sense of humor in so many situations. I am learning a lot from her.

It was a day well lived!

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