Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thursday Nov. 14, 2013 Day 22

Martins Creek
Waxing Gibbeous Moon

This was a most exceptional day of fun, adventure, group cohesion and unity.   On Tuesday some of them, I do believe at least Cole and Zac, were talking about tunnels.  I said I knew three tunnels that were really fun.  I then wanted to take them here to the incredible culvert.  It is about a 6’x6′ round culvert that is very dark inside until you get to the curve and come out the other side.  I brought them all into it sweetly, gently, respectfully with regard to any fears  and knowing that we would not have to go in if we did not want to.  So, before that we had  a fun circle that included a story that was a very funny participatory story song doing very funny movements.  Zara and Eden really joined in and the rest just watched with humored delight.  After that, down the hill and to the front of the TUNNELLLLLL we went!!!!!   Juliet at first said no,she did not want to go.   I took our time with this. She then was willing to hold hands. The rest of them held each others hands and  Jill and I kept them all together in a circle of care. I knew that we could stop, go back or whatever we needed but, that did not happen.  By the time we got to the end words of “CAN WE DO IT AGAIN? CAN WE DO IT AGAIN?”  came resounding out, particularly by Cole and Juliet.
Very, typically four year olds, at least some in a group, will just not want to go into the darkness like this but, not this group.  This is the first group in the history of Tender Tracks that all went through this dark passage way!
From there we explored the dry creek bed that we were in.  I knew that there was an end to this and it wasn’t far from where we were but, they wanted to stop and eat.  They found a place that they liked and there we stopped.
Without sharing all the many wonderful details I will give short pictures of the day.
After eating it wound up where the boys went with Jill further down the creek and I stayed with the girls.   The girls were playing little family games,eating and talking.  I brought them into some little nature awareness and listening to what was around us.  They heard the boys with what sounded  like them returning.  The girls  instantly turned into “rocks” so that when the boys came back that would be what they saw. Well, the girls waited and waited and waited and waited and……We looked up and the boys were staying in one spot with Jill climbing up and down the side of the hill.  But were they coming?  The girls waited and waited and waited and waited, as rocks but, they weren’t coming.  I saw some Redwood trees up the hill that had some grand roots that we could camouflage ourselves in.  The girls scampered up the hill and tucked them selves in there.  Then, we waited and waited and waited and waited….We then agreed that I would go to the boys and tell them that I did not know what happened to the girls and I needed their help.  NOW they came running. When we got to the tree I could not see them!!!  We heard their voices but it sounded like they had gone to the top of the tree.  They made little calls but we COULD NOT  see them in the dark view of the roots.  We climbed up there and, low and behold, they had crawled all the way back in the very darkness of the underground tree into a deep cave!!!!  This was INCREDIBLE.   The entire class, teachers and all, could fit inside this Redwood Tree cave with lot’s of room.  Here they ALL played together for the rest of the day with extreme joy and delight.  Jill told me that Serena, at the end of the day, came sliding down this big hillside and when she got to the bottom she yelled with joy ‘That was sooooo funnnn!!!!!” This was truly a redletter day for us all.
When it came time to go back they were so excited to go back through the tunnel and this time only one child wanted to hold hands.  I had to make sure that they all did not run through, for safety as the ground was very uneven. Through it they went though with utter joy.
The ride home was fun filled with many sharing songs that they love and everyone else taking their turns and listening one to the other.
There were so many fun pieces of this day that I am unable to articulate it. Maybe your children will, some day, paint you a verbal great picture of how the day was for them.

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