Yesterday was a day like every other time I have Nina and Hannah. We joyfully wander around the riverbanks to collect treasures, we visit Petunia the Dinosaur, and we do some cooking or baking at home. We made pizza from scratch this time, and also did some scrapbooking which both little ladies enjoyed with much gusto, Hannah particularly so.
I did notice a difference yesterday. On our adventures through water, climbing structures and negotiating pretty pieces of paper, I heard the words "I can't" much less than I used to. They're getting older, understanding their own abilities and are much more able to assess risk for themselves. On more than one occasion, I hear them say aloud, almost to reassure themselves - "I can do it". It's so great to hear. Even when Nina got stuck in the river (she wasn't stuck, the water was just a little too high for her wellies) she worked out how to get back to shallow waters. Even when Hannah was scared climbing up high (on the climbing frame) she worked out how to get down by herself.
Here is Nina and Hannah standing in the middle of our local river.
I feel quite joyous to be part of the lives of these two little girls. It's so wonderful to see them grow up, play by themselves or with eachother, and learn about risk knowing that I am around if they need me. The playworker in me keeps me in check: I am cautious to not intervene, and only help if they ask me to. As they get bigger I will also make sure I slink back into the background and let them get on with it. Because they can. Because they have eachother. Because as they get older they will need me less and less. And that's a good thing. We'll have different adventures with they're bigger.
Thanks for a lovely day Hannah and Nina - come round to play again soon! :)