It’s now been almost two months since Little e started kindergarten. I know. That was quick. But I’ve recently started keeping her home on Fridays, which is something I’d wanted to do from the start, and for which we got absolute support from her teacher, and the other day was our first Friday just us. The Tiger was at daycare, DH was at work and we were just kicking it at home, and outside the windows, it was (and still is) glorious autumn.
DH and I talked recently about wanting to get outside with the kids more. We know it’s the best for them. It’s the best for us. Somehow we’d gotten into a routine of doing things indoors or on the deck, but not really out. More beside than outside. When there was laundry to do and errands to run and a kitchen to clean, walks and hikes and puddle jumping started to seem like another thing on the list–and not at the top.
She goes to a fricking eco-school, DH said. We should be out there hearing what she’s got to say about slugs! He was right of course. We chose her school because we felt an outdoor kindergarten was the best fit for her, for us. And here we were, spending most of our days inside.
So, Friday we went a-leaf-collecting. Leaf-bouquet-ing, as Little e put it. Because why shouldn’t you be able to put a bunch of brilliant fall leaves in a vase and call them a bouquet? We wandered our park-next-door and scoured for the best red, oranges, yellows and speckled browns. We collected side by side with the purpose of ecologists. The sun came out. We talked about how some leaves have serrated edges and some have smooth. We debated about whether a small leaf was therefore a baby leaf. Decided that while oak leaves are a nice shape, they’ve got nothing on a showy maple. And as we wandered home, bunches of leaves in our fists, Little e bumped her shoulder against my hip and said, This is my best day of the year.
Really? I said. The whole year?
Yes, she said. Even my life.
And I was reminded how as a child, a moment can become so big, so full with delight and wonder that it seems to break out of its boundaries and eclipse every other moment with its now. Never mind that Little e said this same thing only a few days ago about another event. I think it was watching a movie together on the couch. The fact that she says this kind of thing all the time doesn’t make it less true–I’ve realised it makes it more true. It’s the strongest way she knows to describe joy. A moment’s worth of joy that can’t be contained.
You’re right, I said to her. This is the best now ever.
Next Friday will be even better.