Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thursday Feb.6, 2014 Day 20

Waxing Moon
Stevens Creek Open Space Preserve

Today was Juliette’s birthday celebration. Due to threats of rain, the sky being a little gray, and potential for rain, Juliette agreed that this would be a nice  place to go because we could build a fire there and have popcorn.  She did bring treats for the children yet Popcorn sounded so good to her that she said a resounding YES to this plan. So, off we went.  When we got to Stevens Creek the children ran out and found the flowing creek.  Cole spent a good deal of the day in the water in his rain suit and Julian, Finn and Zac  followed right along.
It didn’t take long  before they were all wet. It was here that some decisions needed to be made: changing clothes at the beginning of the day and then not being able to go into the water OR stay a bit wet for a bit longer. The latter was decided and it really wasn’t until close to the end of the day that a big Changing Clothes Party took place, for just about ALL of them.  Ridham and Serena were the only one’s that did not go into the water.   There were grand logs in the creek that they all wanted to try and cross. I gave it a go myself. There were some very slippery parts and OHHH, I just about fell in yet only a little bit did I get wet.  We all laughed and they loved seeing the Grown up try it out.  In my training it is the Adults/Mentors “job” to role model these sorts of things.  I wanted to do more but alas, I needed to be dry at the end of the day and, I just didn’t bring the right change of clothes!!!
We had such a fine time setting up the fire pit with chairs. They all needed to bring down a chair for themselves and take it out. I liked watching Serena and Ridham how they spent a good deal of time taking the chairs out and discovering different ways to play with them.  We made a great circle, brought out all the wood and popcorn needs and got started. I shared with them all about the parts and layers of setting up the nest for the young flames to eat before they can eat the bigger pieces of wood and then, Juliette had an opportunity to light the first match.  There were a handful of them that wished to do so.   It was not as easy as they thought and in the end I took one match and lit it.  However, Zara’s and Cole’s match did get some of the dry material to go into flames for a bit.  Eden ( oh dear, I think Eden gave it a go)Julian, and Zac  tried to light a match.
Then they all learned about how to put sticks on the fire in a safe way while in a big group and one by one they put their sticks on the fire.  The fire built up and built up until it was time to put the grate on and the pot with the popcorn and oil.  We listened and listented and then….pop, Pop, POp, POP, POP, POP!!!!!!! until all the popcorn popped and we got our bowls full!  Then Juliette gave her cookies and then, we had our birthday songs , story and gifts.  Juliette had beautiful gifts to give everyone. They were so thoughtful. The children loved it and Juliette received her story and gift with such joy!!!! Truly, she was so very present.
The rest of the day was filled with climbing up and down a sliddey hill that Finn said ” This is just like the slippey sliddey!” only bigger and muddier!   There was lot’s more water play and we got to hear part of tree branch crack and fall.
It took at least 30 to 40+ minutes to get everyone changed and back in the bus but we did it and what a great day of celebration.  Happy Birthday  Juliette!!!

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