Lately I've been thinking about spots. You know, that one spot that you claim as yours. It might be that one chair in the living room, or a chair on the lanai (porch), or a table at your favorite coffee shop. Perhaps it is a large flat rock on the beach or a bench in your garden. A place that offers refuge and a place to recenter and find focus.
We have a few, this boy and I. I don't know if they will always remain ours. I would like to think that they will. That no matter what life changes around us, inside of us, these spots will remain ours. A special place. A place where we go to find whatever we are looking for and leave with our hearts and hands full. I thought I'd document our spots here in this space. So that even if our spots change, we will have these pictures and words to remember them by.
Have you read Kim Payne's Simplicity Parenting? This book and knitting have been my secret delights this week. I once read this book on my kindle last year, and while it was an interesting read, it didn't quite captivate me as this second read has. Perhaps it has something to do with holding a real copy in my hand verses a digital one. Or perhaps it has something to do with the age that Liam is at right now. Whatever the factor, I am so glad to be rereading it for there are so many treasures that have moved me to action this past week.
Yesterday I posted about my spot. A spot in our home that I claim as my own. Where work and rest takes place. It had me thinking about spots that Liam and I have. In our home. On our island. I realized that when I think about a spot that the two of us share, it is our spot at the beach. The few spots of shade on the long stretch of white sand. Right under a tree when our red cardinal and his lady friend visit so frequently. Right by the large white piece of drift wood that lies beautifully and patiently waiting to be discovered. Far enough for Liam to be comforted that the crash of the waves cannot reach him. Close enough to the bathrooms and showers that will be used to end our time at the beach. Yes... this spot has become ours without me really realizing it until now. Will you visit with us?
"How satisfying it is for a child to know a place - however modest - and to know it deeply. To explore it repeatedly, to know it in all of its seasonal faces, to identify one's own favorite little spots and crevices in it." ~ Kim John Payne, M.ED., from Simplicity Parenting.
"Children need experience, not entertainment, in play. The more kids can do, see, feel, and experience for themselves in play, the more connected they will feel to the world, and the less overwhelmed". Kim Payne ~ Simplicity Parenting.
Experiences. How much of my day goes into planning experiences for this little boy. Things that I want him to touch and taste and see. Our spot on the beach offers so much of these wonderful sensory experiences.
Like the feeling of sand between our toes
Or sifting through our finger tips
Furry roots or smooth driftwood
(Lack of picture because my camera and ocean water just don't mix!)
The water on our bodies and the wet sand in our hands.
And rocks - of the corral or lava rock variety.
Our spot on the beach provides so many opportunities for experience. A beach day is so ripe for the potential to experience and to absorb and to heal. I wrote earlier about how I was waiting for the joy to come. This week, with the lack of sleep, it is so easy to think that nothing is going right. That I am the worse parent because I lost my temper after a hard night, in a long line up of long and hard nights all because I couldn't drink my silly cup of coffee in peace. Not a proud moment. But today was one of joy. Where everything seemed to flow in the right direction, where everyone was rowing towards the same destination. Where I was patient and fun and fully present. I'd like to think that it was because we got to visit our spot today.
Our spot offered us a wonderful way to be in the water. With the hard winter surf season starting to come in, the swells were too much for us to try and take part in. But with the waves being so strong, a lagoon had been created sometime before we got there and a large section of water lay still and waiting. Liam was scared because it was unfamiliar. I was scared because I didn't know if it was clean enough to play in. After a while of watching some other people playing and sitting in the little lagoon, this little mama got brave enough to venture into it. Liam wasn't on the same page as me and furrowed deep into my arms. I so wanted to just go back to our little spot on our blanket, but a part of me wanted for him to so badly experience the water. So my mama desire won out and I plopped down in the water with him in my arms. He protested and used my body like a ladder to climb who knows where he thought he was going. I knew though that once he got in it, he would love it. So I held him close and when he settled down, cupped some water and brought it up to him. When he saw what it was he splashed the water in my hand. Splashing water was familiar. Over and over we did this until slowly he started to unlatch and reach out towards the water surrounding us. And oh what fun we had. There was a game of lathering our bodies with the wet sand. There was a game of washing our bodies clean. There was throwing sand and rolling around in it. There was stretching out like a cat to taste only to grimace at the salty wet flavor. There was just the right amount of sun and just the right amount of wet cool. Our little spot - knew just what we needed. We were scared and then brave. We dipped our toes in the little lagoon and then our hands and then our faces. There were moments when we laughed and squealed and more times when we were just silent and thoughtful. Life, comes in the hard but also the good. And the good is always so sweet and tender and full of wonder.
Joy. Oh yes indeed. Be it morning, or noon, or night - eventually it does come. And when it does it takes your breath away and fills your heart with an ache because it is being stretched so full.
Do you have a special spot? I would so love to hear about it.
Wishing you and yours blessings this weekend.