During our “harvesting” in the garden on Tuesday Seth disappeared into the house for a while. I looked up from my basil collecting to find him, standing back to me appraising our forest of dried sunflowers. The view of his behind was just to precious. Sticking out from various pockets (tool belt style) were: a pair of purple handled child scissors, pink handled adult scissors, a tape measure, garden clippers in a leather pouch and a florescent green folding hand saw. Before I could snap a shot he had started to unload his tools on a chair. He selected the saw, and without a word to me got started deforesting our spent garden.
“Mom can I harvest this Hollyhock?” “By all means, be my guest!”
I felt bad for the little birds who had kept us company all day as we looked for treasures in the garden. Their cache of dry seeds at a convenient height was about to disappear. However, such directed initiative from a young man of four should hardly be swayed. Last week he had been doing a similar task with garden clippers in order to make wands, perhaps that task had simply gotten his juices flowing. When I asked him what he was doing he said, “harvesting sticks for building a fort at Ryder’s”.
I thought it was interesting that he was planning on building a fort at Ryder’s house. Ryder lives in a somewhat more wooded area than we do. Seth gave no other explanation, but I wonder if he associates forts with wilderness (no matter how tame) that he has somewhat immediate access to.
First thing on Wednesday morning Seth continued with his sawing agenda. This time he found some proper sticks and I got out a clamp for him to practice with. Whenever Seth shows interest in building of any sort I try to encourage him. Tasks that involve using his hands inevitably lead to story telling, and as was the case on Tuesday visual story telling. He finished his harvest day by creating this extensive map of emergencies and 911 operators on the inside of a pizza box that was destined for a compost layer. Children foster creativity in their own amazing ways that never cease to amaze me.