Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thurs. Sept. 12, 2013

Day 4, 2013
Waxing Mon
Rancho San Antonio

Zac was absent today and we sent him thoughts of Health and Happiness.
We had a peaceful and joyful departure as we made our way to a new adventure.  When we got to Rancho San Antonio we had our circle.  They seem to do very well, and it is more in flow with them, to adhere less to a true circle and more to the movement that the childrens bodies wish for.  So, circle time is more like, movement time.  Half way through singing, it has been that I play the occarina at least three times.  Each time they are a different type of animal: slow, fast, their favorite….Then they come back in to a circle or just come back together to sing the rest of our songs.  Right from the first circle song what they love to do  is  to go into the middle and be sung around.  One will go in then another then another until only maybe two are holding Jill and my hands.  But then, one by one they come back out again to be in the circle. Then sitting down to eat snack and hear story is easy and they are all present.
When some of us went to the bathroom at the beginning, Jill and the rest found a dead mole.   When my group got back we joined their questionings.  Ridham noticed the holes in the ground and said it must have come from one of them.  We did not see any puncture holes in the body and wondered why it died at all.  Zara wondered what the word puncture meant.  I explained.
After circle the other children realized that they had to go pee so off they went with Jill.  Liam, Cole, Julian, Zara, Eden and I went to the bridge to see if there was any water under there.  NO WATER!  We waited and waited and then, Liam needed to move his body and Julian said, “Can we go play under that tree?” pointing to a wonderful Oak not far down the trail.  They went to explore there and when the others came back,  “Oh dear, Where are the other children?” I said. “They were just here and now they are gone. Can you help me find them?”  And so we went down the trail and…..THERE THEY WERE, UNDER THE TREE!!!!   As I looked up I saw an old nest. Was it a birds nest that was large or a squirrels  nest?  Though there were small and bunched branches everywhere I hoisted my self up to see.  It was a large and old/lot’s of spider webs in there, birds nest.  I came down and this opened the way for Cole to scamper up the tree that we were under.  Others really wanted to do the same and spent the next hour or so working at getting up it and taking turns.  Liam LOVED being up in the tree with Cole and Cole LOVED just laying and sitting on this tree with, what looked like, deep contentment. Julian really really wanted to get up there as well as Zara and Eden.  After quite a bit of time I requested that Liam and Cole make their way down so the others could find their way up.   As much as they didn’t want to they were very congenial about getting down for the others.  Julian went up first with help and LOVED it as well.  When it was the girls turn they took turns finding their way up and enjoying it.  All the while Ridham and I played down below and Serena and Juliet were with Jill eating, playing, laughing and exploring.
It seemed, after a while, a good time to carry on so I gave them a rhyme in order to find our next destination. A rhyme which I can not recite for you as I make them up on the spot. However, it lead them to the Great Grandma Bay tree with the fence that surrounded her.   When we got there “Why does she have a fence around her?” and “What does she drink up?”   I gave them a story, true it was, about why the fence was there. You see the Guardians of the Open Space there know that Grandmother Bay’s roots go deep and spread wide.   This is how she gets her food. She DRRRRRRIIIIINNNNNKKKKKKKSSSSSS up all that she needs that goes right into her branches and leaves all the way to the top.  She has been getting older and her roots wider. When people step on them she cannot drink as well and she may die if her roots get stepped on too much so, a nice fence was put around her to protect her.  “Oh, they said,” with quizzical minds fast at work putting this story in the proper order.
I then jumped up the fence to see if I could walk and balance along.  Cole loved this, and in the same way he took my lead with climbing the tree, so he did with the fence.  From there on out he spent the entire rest of the day working on walking as far as he could around the fence without falling.  Each time he would fall he went right back to his starting place to begin again.
Liam did this with him for awhile but was not gaining anywhere near the pleasure nor did he have the focus that Cole did so he abandoned this and went to play with the other children.  However, now and again he would come back and want to play something else with Cole. Cole was not interested and some unpleasantries happened within their friendship.  So, an “I dont’ like you party” ensued with pretend cakes, appropriate frowns but alas, how long can one keep that up for??!!!!  I did a retelling of a great story my Maurice Sendak that is perfect for this age called “Let’s be Enemies.”  All the children were wrapped up in it.  Well, because they can RELATE!!!
While Cole was busy with the fence, Serena, Juliet, Ridham and I were coloring in the nature book that I have and Ridham was making himself like a Houdini Gymnast on the fence!!! The other children were off exploring the creek with Jill. They climbed and scaled trees, went over to the other side of the dry creek bed and were happily exploring.  Ridham and Liam were back and forth between both places and Julian was the one who instigated this exploration.
We all made our way back and happily rode on to Eleanor Pardee park to be picked up.
Another beautiful day.

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