Last night our family attending a solstice celebration. I brought my three kids and one of their friends. The intent was to celebrate the season and quietly reflect. The setting was spectacular, instructions were thoughtful, instructing the kids to be quiet but that quiet looks different for everyone. This was tricky with young kids.
Each family took turns walking the candle-light-cedar-bow labyrinth. Candlelight reflecting in the eyes of my children- beautiful. The setting was magical for meditating on what light will mean for each in this new season.
As soon as the kids could go to the other room, they did. Not surprising, kids like to roll in packs. There wasn’t a structure for them so a few of us attempted wrangling and shhhhshing. I decided to leave early. As the night came to a close, I couldn’t help looking at this situation from a child’s point of view. A long night where they are supposed to be quiet? And that’s a celebration? And my mom brought me here?
I wonder what would have happened if the kids had been engaged with first. With questions like… What is do you like about light? What do you like about darkness? What is a wish for yourself now or in the future that you would like to make happen? Here is a story about why we light candles at this time of year. And then we let kids experience the process together, in packs with friends and be available as parents as needed. And then, encourage them to do their work, playing. It can be easy to forget that we as parents and kids see things in different ways. The next time I attend an event with my kids, I am going to be more thoughtful in seeing things through their eyes. Parents, educators and adults I implore you, listen to the wisdom of the children. They will teach you, if you make time to listen.