Kids will never notice that they are eating off of bright green plastic plates. They will happily scarf down leftover muffins, tiny meatballs from the freezer dipped in ketchup, apple slices, homemade yogurt and carrot sticks - not caring that they don't exactly complement each other.
And, oh, the things that kids talk about when there is just one quiet adult sitting in the corner. What things you can learn about daddies and mommies - things that you tuck away in the back of your mind to mention later to those same mommies and daddies :)
Kids will eat with such great joy - not worrying about things like calories or what they look like when strawberry sauce mixed with yogurt is dripping down their mouths and onto their clothes. Toothpicks to pick up meatballs are SO exciting, the most ordinary of things are made extraordinary when dining in the out of doors with children.
And afterwards.......they scatter, running here and there - all messy and filled with food. They don't notice the weeds and too long grass that meets them along the way. The broken toys, old tires and empty sandbox are repurposed for pools and tables and dishware. Fun is found not in the perfection of an object but for the possibility it holds.
Kids will create their fun. Glitter, cardboard tubes, markers and paper become a weight to lift, a spy scope for a boy eager to spy upon the girls and other beautiful, useful things. One bottle of glue is shared by all - without intervention from the quiet adult looking on in the background. Amazing........what happens in the company of kids.............
There is so much to learn - setting up an environment, allowing the possibilities, giving them the space to be who they are. There are leaders, there are followers, there are the clowns, there are the mothers, there are the storytellers, there is so much in these little bodies and minds.
I love that chubby thighs and polka-dotted spandex seem to be the perfect complement to one another.............in the company of kids. You want to hug and squeeze and love.
And at the end of a long summer morning................there is always the cool, quiet basement. Although it was only quiet for so long, only still for a moment..........but that is how it is............in the company of kids.