Thursday, September 16, 2010
Lessons From A Painter
After nap time and lunch, when the afternoon is hot and slow and long, Elliot enjoys a good long hour of water play. I fill a couple of big buckets with a few inches of water and set him up in the shade on the driveway. He scoops and pours and is, for once in the day, quiet. Completely quiet. Silently engaged. Then the other day I remembered a classic preschool outdoor activity of putting large paintbrushes out with buckets of water and letting the kids "paint" the walls and ground. So I dug around in the garage and came out with a few brushes. I added the brushes to his water play things and told him he could "paint the garage door." It was a few minutes of watching Elliot bang the brushes on the ground and throw them around before I realized that he had no idea what I was talking about. Not only had he never seen or held a large paint brush before, but he had never seen anyone paint with one. So I took a minute to demonstrate and guide him, then let him go. He picked it up right away and loved it. It was so fun to watch him explore something new. And such a good lesson for me to remember that, even though this child is so capable and skilled, he is still only one year old. There is so much in this life that is still brand new to him.