These days the time flies when we go outside to play. Since the rain has returned (and the bitter cold has mostly subsided), Cohort 7 cannot get enough of our big, beautiful yard. As we put on shoes and zip up jackets, I can feel the impatience in all of them -- they are ready! I open the front door, and everyone excitedly makes their way onto the porch. We take stock of the yard together: Is it raining? Are the Cohort 6 kids outside, too? Is there sunshine? Puddles? Where are the bikes parked?! Soon everyone is going down the stairs and picking a direction to explore in.
AJ loves to explore the side yard, often playing the piano for long stretches of time. She turns her head to make eye contact with me occasionally, a look of pure joy on her face. Eventually she moves on, crawling over to the climbing structure in the corner of the front yard or taking a peek inside the garden boxes.
LT enjoys riding the bikes around, often challenging herself to go backwards and get on/off the seat in increasingly challenging ways. Some days she is so happy to be on a bike that she does all of her exploring while riding -- I spot her riding over to something interesting and then leaning over as far as she can to examine it without having to leave her seat.
CS likes to stack wooden blocks into towers almost as tall as he is! He is very careful with each new addition and asks me to hold them until he is ready to add them to the existing tower. The short steps on the pathway leading to the porch have also been an area of interest, as he practices stepping up the stairs from an upright position -- hard work!
I love our time outside together. I am always struck by the level of focus in the children -- within moments of going outside, everyone seems absorbed and content in each of their activities. Though the children are focused, they also make time to check in with everyone; they are eager to show their friends what they've been exploring, and interested in knowing what the others are up to.
We are so fortunate to have this beautiful space to play and explore. I am looking forward to the Spring and Summer, when the big tree becomes leafy and majestic and the garden grows green and plentiful. For now, we are thankful that the weather has turned somewhat -- we can't get enough of our Oregon winter!