I’m a control freak. If you’ve met me, there’s no point in my denying it. So for me, setting my children loose at Little Sprouts and especially Seedlings is as much a lesson for me as it is for them. In those programs, as in everything Sunflower offers, children are free: to discover, to learn, to cover themselves in mud, to wrestle, to climb, to paint their little bodies from head to toe. It took me a while to come to grips with it.
But now, I can appreciate that they — and I — must let go. We let go of convention, of (some) rules, of cleanliness and of order. And at the same time, we hold on. We hold on to playfulness, fun, creativity, exploration and challenges. We hold on to friends. We hold onto blocks, leaves, sand and songs. We hold on to the idea that children can learn amazing things if you just leave them alone for a while.
This year, my two and half year old starts Seedlings. I am nervous for him. Will he be too small? Will he make friends? Will he be scared if I’m not there? But I am not worried that he’ll stay clean or dry. I know for a fact he will not. And I’m not worried that he’ll just play in the mud all day, every day. That’s what his brother did, during his first year as a Seedling. All mud, all the time. At first it drove me nuts, but I’ve come to expect it. Mud washes away. A morning full of adventure and love sticks with you for much, much longer.
© Victoria Green and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2011