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A Lesson in Following the Child

A couple weeks ago I picked up a set of unpainted peg people from a craft store. Henry loves little people and animals and I wanted to paint him a set to use with his building and unit blocks. When I got them home, I painted six of the eight with rainbow colors. We've been on a rainbow kick over here, and I knew Hen would love them. 


As I expected, Henry loved the painted pegs and spent a great deal of time playing with them. After a couple days, though, he discovered that I had two unpainted people left. He immediately started asking for a black peg and a pink one. The pink was for Nora, he insisted. {Henry says that pink is Nora's favorite color -- despite the fact that she shows zero preference.}

But, then there was the black. I asked why he wanted the black, but he didn't tell me a reason. I thought it was a weird color choice, and pushed back by offering other paint choices. Still, he insisted, and again I brushed him off. 


Finally, he literally brought me the peg person and the black paint from my office and asked again. At this point, I gave in. I had already painted the pink person, so I didn't really have any other use for the final peg. 

Once the black peg person was dry, Henry couldn't contain himself. He immediately got his blocks out and got to work. This peg had a very particular purpose. "Sit with me Mom! Let's build a church!" Now, building a church is not unusual for Henry, he actually likes to do this a lot. But, then he completely surprised me. 


"It's the Father! See Mom!" Henry said as he held up the black peg. Henry had wanted a priest for his church. I was shocked. That's why he was so insistent. And, I'm sad that I almost didn't follow his lead and missed this amazing moment.

So, lesson learned...follow the child. Follow the child. Then, follow some more. You might be seriously surprised and amazed where they take you.  


Comments

Oh my goodness... what a beautiful story!! You're doing something right with that little boy. ;-)
Anonymous said…
Great story! Do u mind sharing what kind of blocks those are. They look fab. I like the natural color of thd wood.
The blocks were handmade by a friend! They are beautiful unfinished wood.

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