Palo Alto Tender Tracks Oct. 4, 2012

Waning Gibbeous Moon
Rancho San Antonio
Day 10

Kaden is still in Hawaii.  Today began in a very slow and scattered way.  Emme, Alice and Evan were FILLED  with songs to sing but not able to join the group in circle so I asked them to go and play with Audrey at the Laying down Tree.  This is a very common thing that happens at Tender Tracks and not punitive in any way.  It is about honoring what is really present.  However, there are boundaries around it.  If they chose to leave they would forgo snack unless they came back before the story candle was lit.
When Alice realized what her choice really was, as soon as she got to the tree, there were many tears.  Her Mom and brother were still there so when she spied them off she went to them.   Evan wanted to come back earlier to circle so, with some renegotiations and attention brought to what is really needed for circle, he came and stayed the course.  When Emme, Alice and Evan were off tending to their own needs, the rest in the circle, Gieselle, Aoife, Paul, and Miu really enjoyed  the songs with all of their hand movements  and the story.
When we finally got to Rancho San Antonio I made a map on the ground of where we were to go.  Evan, fastest runner ever, though more of a sprinter than a long distance runner, ran and ran and then dropped to the ground. One by one all the children wanted to catch up with him as we went from Landmark to landmark.   On our way and at the Gnomey House, we saw Woodpeckers and Crows dive bombing each other and making quite a roucous.  It actually sounded like the children as they were bickering a bit about how to fit into this small Gnome house/ an Oak tree with a hole in it’s trunk that looks just like a Gnome house. We were also taken up with enthusiasm and curiosity with regard to all of the ground squirrels running in and out of their nests. We watched some eating acorns and we saw some really big tree squirrels’ nests. Evan was delighted about all of this and filled with GRAND excitment over it all. He LOVEs the fire song and walked all the way back at the end of the day singing it, almost non stop.
When we got to our respecting spot we pulled out lunch but, as usually, most wanted to go straight to playing in the creek and exploring.  We insisted that they eat a bit to give them strength yet as soon as that was over off they went.    They made a great boat and bridge with some of the logs that they found and after a time I quietly walked up this big leaning log.  Of course, and as intended, one by one they followed me up and, “how did you get up there?” and “How can I?”  and so a new adventure and challenge began.   Gieselle however found this quite a challenge and I helped her to find not only an alternative route but how to aid her body with getting to the top with the other children.  Miu and Aoeife got a little stuck on a slidding hill at the top that we were also playing on and Evan came to help them all when and where he could.  He just LOVED helping eveyrone.  Aoife was her usual quiet, in the am, self and then went into her  playful and mischievous self in the afternoon with glorious laughter and fun. Miu didn’t really like the long walking back and got quite  frustrated at times.  Aoife, she and Emme were playing Princes on the way back.  When Miu got irritated she was yelling at Audrey, at which point Emme told her that she couldn’t be  Princess because Princesses don’t act like that.   Peers supporting peer’s healthy choices!  I hope none of you take offence to me sharing this.  I find it quite lovely.   Someone gets upset and “acts out” and a friend helps them see that they can make different choices.  Yeah for that! And Paul, with his gentle and peaceful nature is still immersed into killing and dying and all the children have been making choices around these games that he wants to play.  Mostly they have not wanted to join in and he is really learning a lot about that and being his sweet self around it, though a bit confounded that they DON’T want to play something that he thinks is SOOOO fun! However,  he and Evan continue to make choices around how they do their sword play. It seems that Paul is often the one that gets his hand hit yet is ok about it because he knows what he is choosing. And they are choosing together to play different games when this happens.  Another incredible skill to have and work with.
Alice, was very excited all day because she was  going to Miu’s house after school. She was filled with climbing in her fun and frilly tuttoo and seemed to love every minute of it.. Emme was her  strong, clear, helpful and willing self and was able to take help from Evan who, again, was  REALLY delighted to help others.
They all just played on the logs , crossed the water, worked  together and challenged their bodies, hearts and souls.  And oh yes, Gisselle made sure that everyone knew that the  poison oak was under neath the bridge so that they would be safe
I feed the Yellow Jackets and most sat and watched this delight.  They discovered how, if given a little food gift, they will go for that and leave everyone elses lunches alone.
Your  children just LOVE stories being told to them during the day and on the bus and keep asking Audrey, usually on the ride home, “Tell another story, tell another story.”

This was a very wild and whirly, swirly day filled with changes, transitions and a world of wonder all around.

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