Thursday, February 20, 2014
Since forever Chips has been waiting,in great anticipation,for snow.
November came and he was certain it would snow but it didn't. Then December came and Chips knew for a fact that it would snow...it had said so on the news and it was obviously Christmas time and we all know it snows at Santa time....he waited and waited but it didn't snow. January came and by now Chips was getting a bit desperate,he still was hopeful though as it was now winter and it always snows at winter time...January came and went....without snow,plenty of rain but no snow. This was getting Chips down. Where was the snow?! It just wasn't on!
And then one day at the beginning of February it started to snow.
It was about ten o'clock. I was at work,listening to the readers,when all of a sudden someone spotted snow falling past the classroom window.
Well you would not believe the pandemonium this caused! As the word of snow spread around the room the children were whipped into a frenzy. They all stood gazing out of the window,watching the snow fall. And even better still it was playtime and the decision was made to let the children play in the snow. They were beside themselves!
And it happened to be my playground duty.
So that was why I ended up in the play area supervising thirty,six year olds. It was magical.
The children were all bundled up,zips done,hats,scarfs and gloves on. And they were buzzing,ready to get out in the snow.
Once we got out in the play area,that was it,there were children,movement and noise everywhere. Exited shouts of
"Let's make a snowball"
"I'm making a snowman"
"Can I make a snow angel?"
echoed around and as I looked at the play area not a single child was stood still. Lots of the children had their hands raised up in the air trying to catch the snow and at least 95% had their tongues out as they tried to catch the snow on their tongues.
Some children were scrapping any snow they could find together and then holding it in their hands and gazing at it. Even the smallest bit of snow caused great excitement and big grins.
The snow began to settle on the childrens coats and in their hair. One little girl had the most pretty snowflake fall on her coat,it looked just like a star,a pretty little sequin star but it was a real snowflake,so perfectly formed. Magic.
For a moment I stood still and took in the scene,the magic of falling snow.
How it falls so softly,transforming everything it touches and making even the ordinary item beautiful.
How it makes you want to run and spin and lie down in it.
How it makes you try to catch it...with hands held out,reaching for that elusive snowflake that melts as soon as you touch it.
How it brings out a desire to catch a snowflake on your tongue. I mean,seriously,why do we want to do that?!And yet we do. Especially children.
So if it's so magical,why do us grown ups nearly combust at the mention of snow?I know some grown ups like snow but in general most people I talk to do not want any snow. Infact just as the children were filled with excitement at seeing the snow,the adults around them were mainly filled with dismay.How were they going to get home if it settled,please,please don't let it settle. Have we got enough milk and bread?Where are the wellies? Its cold and wet,get me out of here!
We see it as a inconvenience,it causes chaos to our routine and in this busy life we have no time for chaos,life is chaotic on a good day when everything is running to schedule,throw in snow and bang our whole routine crumbles and gives us yet more stress and none of us need any more stress added to our daily dose of real life. We have things to do,places to be,no time to play or even stop for a moment,we are on task,following routines,trying desperately to keep all the balls in the air at the same time,the mad juggling of life that comes along with being a grown up and especially a grown up with a family. Snow makes us stop. Sometimes it makes 'everything' stop. Pretty powerful stuff this snow...if it can make this world stop it's hectic busy culture...even if it's only for a short time. And once it has stopped the world from its busyness it does something else too,it encourages grown ups to play,not many things have the power to do that these days. Same as I just said...powerful stuff this snow.
On this occasion the snow did not settle,infact as quickly as it came it then disappeared,much to the adults joy and the children's despair.
So the ten minute playtime that was so joyfully embraced was,maybe,the only chance that the children were going to get to play in snow this year. Iam glad that I saw it.
Over in the junior school the children were not allowed out to play in the snow. It was wet play for them. The closest they got to the snow was to stand at the windows and watch it fall. Well some children,not many,couldn't resist the lure of the falling snow and they snuck outside and held out their hands to catch snowflakes. They got in big trouble when the teacher found out,my young un,the little boy who had waited so desperately for snow,was one of those children. I think the magic of touching snow outweighed the telling off he got. And although I did say to him that he shouldn't disregard what teachers told him,I could understand the reasons he did it and I did smile about it.
I'll finish with a comment from a little boy who was allowed to play in the snow,he said to me....
"If you look up to the sky when it's snowing you feel just as if you are flying"
Magical stuff that there snow.
Monday, February 17, 2014
There is an old saying that goes something like this
"Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves"
Well I need the pounds to do 'something' so I decided to take care of the pennies.
With this in mind I gathered some spare coins that had accumulated around the house and gave them to Chips to put into the coin machine at Morrisons. I thought it would keep him amused after he had finished his Saturday morning breakfast and give us a bit of breathing space to finish our breakfasts in peace.
Saturday came,Chips finished breakfast first and merrily trundled off to the coin changing machine.
We sat eating,chatting and enjoying our food and the little bit of peace. Well I say peace,and here I grin,we could not quite see Chips but we could hear him or should I say 'the coins' dropping into the machine and the machine gurgling away as it ate all those 1p and 2ps. It's not the quietest of machines! Bit like a slot machine I guess!
Chips came back with a voucher for a pound. Not a lot I know but better than nothing and enough to buy some sweets or put towards a comic. I also liked the idea that it was teaching him that loose change was worth something and if he did save it then eventually it could be used for something.
Eventually the shopping was finished and we arrived at the checkout where Chips handed over the voucher and received his pound coin.
And as he stood at the end of the checkout he noticed some daffodils. And he noticed the price....it was a pound.
And he decided in a flash that he would spend his pound on a bunch of daffodils for his mummy.
I tried to gently talk him around and get him to spend the money on himself but his mind was firmly set on those daffodils.
The cashier was visibly moved,I think we all were.
He went to the back of me and the shopping and stood queuing to buy a bunch of daffodils for his mummy,with his hard begotten pound.
There were a lot of smiles and melted hearts as he paid for those daffodils....especially mine...
Linking this up to Jaimes Magic Moments
Its been a while since I have been at Magic Moments.
Im looking forward to see what everybody has been up to.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Float To The Sea
Sunday dawned and it was bright! Weather to walk in! After breakfast we put on our coats and set off for the park.we had not walked long before I realised just how cold it was,it may have been blue sky bright but the wind was icy,I was glad we had wrapped up well and I hoped the walk and play would warm us up.
The park wasn't wet,well the equipment was not wet but it was damp and on the first slide Chips came to he just stuck halfway down. The climbing frame was a bit dodgy to climb on as it was slippery and the swings took a bit too much effort to work up,so we headed to the river.
The water levels of the river were up and it was flowing at quite a pace. We clambered over the rocks and made our way upstream to where there was some benches,once there we sat and had a drink and a snack - a winters picnic. A winters picnic is different to a summery picnic,you have to be wrapped up warmly to enjoy a winters picnic and you huddle together but it's still good and still special.
Once the picnic had gone Chips went on a stone search and had a great time throwing any stone that he could find into the river and making the biggest splash that he could. There was not many,or even any stones left by the time Chips had finished rooting around. His gloves were grubby and muddy and he looked like little children should look,pink cheeked and a little bit dirty. In my books there are two kinds of dirt - good dirt and bad dirt. This was good dirt,the sort of dirt that you get from playing outside and being a child and not particularly caring about how dirty you are going to get by messing around with sticks and stones and climbing walls and splashing near rivers. This kind of dirt is easily solved by a quick dip in the shower and the muddy clothes being put in a washing machine - sorted. Everything clean once more and a child that has played...to me there is nothing better than a child who has played.
It was getting bitterly cold,so we decided to have a stick race and then head on home. We found two biggish sticks and we took them right to the beginning of the river,to the count of one,two,three the sticks were thrown into the bubbling river and off they floated. We never saw them again. The river was much faster than us and try as we might,we never caught up with those sticks again.
As we walked home we talked about where we thought the sticks would go and we decided that they would definitely make it to the sea. We plotted the route they would take and estimated how long it would take them to get there. Sticks that lay under trees,now having their biggest adventure yet,floating past villages and under bridges,joining up with bigger rivers until they reached the big open sea,what an adventure.
It was two weary but happy people who returned back home that afternoon. Full of tales about parks and rocks and stones and flapjack and sticks.