Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friends


Playing a great new board game that we bought a few weeks ago, Settlers of Catan We have played most every day since:We are so lucky. We have three very local (I'm talking out-here-in-the-boondocks-with-us local) families who unschool. The kids are very close. The kind of close that they can have three people together for a slumber party and no one ever gets left out. The kind of close where they respect each others' differences, with no fear of being judged or dropped. I love hearing, "That's your favorite movie (lego set, yu gi oh deck, book, drink)? Really? Not me." Great debates ensue with no one thinking they are going to change anyone's mind, they just love the debate.

I learned a theory from my brother, years ago, who learned it from a consulting whiz, that people learn best when in groups of seven. Interesting. A lot of learning happens with these kids as a result of just hanging out together, sharing their passions, free to experiment, fail and then learn from their mistakes, uninhibited by adult control. It's hard sometimes, not interfering, just waiting for them to ask for help. Especially when directing or art are involved (for me personally). I've learned (I keep relearning this!) that my unsolicited advice just stops their flow, frustrates them, keeps them from that brazen confidence that allows them to take the risks that forge new paths. Risks that I, who mostly learned from books and in classes, am hesitant to take.

I'm grateful for all of our friends, near and far.

And, we're incredibly grateful that our eleven year old dog, Tuki, has a young, new friend:
Four-month old Willie (named for my great-grandmother) showed up on our porch about a month ago. Tuki has a new lease on life. She's learning and teaching a lot lately.

"Follow me Willie, here's how to dig up the chipmunk we buried several days ago":
That is Leonard next to Willie, lying down exhausted from all the wrestling. Leonard used to be one of the boys favorite beings and is now Willie's favorite chew toy.

Willie has been going to work with Nicolas at the farm. Tuki gets a much needed break from the constant Willie love-fest. Time alone is good too. But after a while, we all miss our friends.

12 comments:

Rachel said...

Yes, after a while, we DO all miss our friends, even our blog-only friends. :) I was definitely missing your presence here, so I'm so glad you're writing a bit. I totally expect you will take more long breaks in the future, and I think those are wonderful for you and your family (they get more of you), and I expect to do the same on and off. But I love to get glimpses of you guys and hear bits of your lives.

Madeline Rains said...

Thanks Rachel. I got to see you and your beautiful family on that film! Amazing! I hope we'll see each other in Chicago or at a conference in the future.

kelli said...

Yay! Tuki has a new friend! So cute :) I miss you guys!

Madeline Rains said...

Kelli! We miss you guys too. Wish you were even more local. But you aren't so far that we can't get together soon.

Bea Mantovani said...

I'm so glad you're blogging again, I love your blog!

Persephone said...

I was trawling the internet, desperate to remember those few things you mean to look into when you have the time, and I clicked my bookmarked link for Barn-raising. So glad I did! I miss you guys and I can't believe how grown the boys look! I've wanted you to meet Wes before he is officially a toddler, but it seems those first steps will be happening any day now. Hopefully you will meet soon! Give all my love to Nicolas, Gillen,Jesse, and of course YOU (Maddie) xoxoxox

linhuang said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kevin21 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jainsmith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ellen smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rhianna jenkins said...

how do you get so many commenters? I cant get any :(