This is a picture of my back garden this morning.
I woke up looked outside, and thought “what must the neighbours think?”. Every garden around us is tended beautifully and ours looks like a junk yard. This morning I went to tidy up, said to the children “right, it’s time for a spring clear out and a skip”. “Nooooo’, they chorused, “it’s important to us”.
So I asked them about it, I sat down and spoke to them, I got into my child mind, I became a more mindful parent. Look closely, the waterbutt is a dalek, loving painted, without adult help. The little tike turtle, is no longer a sandpit true, but is now a vital dalek grounding device. The red bench is a floating walkway connecting two worlds. The piece of old guttering attached to the climbing frame is a water transformerfall and the debris scattered around the remains of an intergalactic battle.
The old trampoline, tired now and without a net, is actually a thinking place where my 9 year old says he come up with his most creative ideas. The old plastic little tikes house has been carefully positioned behind the bird stand, making the perfect hide for a 7 year old.
I have always wanted to make sure that I am a mindful parent, a supportive parent, and encouraged my children to play independently with toys the way they wanted to, not the way it says on the box. I want them to think outside it, every day in every way. It doesn’t make for the tidiest house or the best cared for toys but it makes them creative. I want them to explore and be happy, to wake up their imagination in a way that awakens them to the possibilities around them for the rest of their life.
Be a mindful parent, be aware of the fact that your children are, well children. The world around them is an adventure playground, one that they construct, one that is constantly evolving and which if we look closely and find the time in our lives and the space in our minds they are happy to invite us into.