The days are beginning to bleed together now, and I’m doing my best to build in some routine. “School,” such as it is, at nine on weekdays. Math, writing, movement, reading. Snack and storytime, preferably outside. Then creative hour with Dad. By the afternoon, I am out of ideas. I sit with my tea and see what they will do.

It is always different, and it is usually messy. They gather all of the pillows in the house and dive-bomb them. They take turns dragging each other around by their ankles, which, to my surprise, doesn’t always end badly. My daughter has recently decided that marbles are sentient beings, and she’s been naming them and building them makeshift houses and molding them various pieces of furniture from clay. My son has developed a game where he puts together his entire collection of puzzles and uses them as stepping stones in a sprawling version of Don’t Touch the Floor. One of them will decide to write a letter to a friend, and the other will draw the love child of a monkey and an elephant.

Of course I’m leaving out the unsavory parts. Sometimes they dump the snack box all over and leave the caps off the markers and get in a shoving match over who sits in the special chair.

Still, this era is reminding me that, in many ways, my children know their own needs better than I do. While I follow along behind them, checking off invisible benchmarks, they are moving wherever they need to move, learning whatever they need to learn. It is good to be close to this again, and to remember that, just like them, I too can be trusted.  

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