Last night I went back to the tree to clean it up. Strands of sparkly ribbon and loose tags from Pixiebel. In the main it appeared that people took the whole gift. I liked that in itself but also because of their care in looking after the tree.
A tree which my girl played in when she was little just like many other kids before her and since. A tree that owns that magical quality that comes from small people having the ability to climb inside it.
When you can climb inside a tree it becomes a home, a safe haven that can lead to adventure. At which point anything is possible.
I’m feeling my connection to working with children but in a different format. I’m not sure how yet
I found myself rewinding to a time when my girl was a new born baby and I volunteered for a charity that ran after school clubs for kids that were struggling with very low self esteem. Relate .. I was all over it.
Kind of like the misfits club for all the kids that were either in trouble, being bullied or had troubles at home and so the list goes on.
As ever, with all things that I really care about I put my heart and soul into it. Putting so much effort into the preparation of things we were going to do during that 90 minutes. From the carefully selected snacks of the world that we would try, to the games we played, to the things we created. Everything had a purpose and a meaning and were filled with lots of care but mainly loads of fun. I created a whole fairground one night out of cardboard and things i found in my home, in charity shops or shop windows. I remember putting my head through a cardboard cut out of Stuart Little that they gave me from a Rental video store, and all the kids took turns at throwing a wet sponge at me. I remember how much we were all laughing. It was like a party every week with silly fun, which when life is la bit shit as a kid sometimes it’s the little bit of love and respite that is needed to make those things more bearable. Laughing is very therapeutic.
There were no misfits in that room. We were just kids laughing
And when the kids chatted with me and shared things about themselves or told me about things that they were interested in I would try to capture that and look for things when I was out and about. Tiny things that were specifically related to something they loved so they knew they were special and really mattered.
I didn’t realise it back then because it was just my way but when I look back now I realise that All I was actually doing was bringing the kid in me, and because of that so did they.
In a similar way to in that room.
But I feel I cam offer more, in a less formal and rigid environment. And perhaps in a group where the focus isn’t just on them. Because I always see the “quiet” ones. They never get lost in the crowd with me. In fact if the truth be told, they are always my favourites. I know there is so much beautiful Stuff that no one takes the time to see or feel but that most definitely lies underneath. While the loud ones are crying out for attention. What is it that they are missing?
I feel like I’m playing with ideas and imagination. At the minute. Inspired by lots of things. Going in circles, backwards and forwards but getting closer to something. Experimenting in reality Not quite sure exactly where I’m trying to get to but I’m definitely sure it’s not a place that is going to be driven by money, or rules or prestige. It’s mot that I don’t think I’m worth it. It’s just that what inspires and motivates me doesn’t ever come in that kind of nice neat professional package.
Maybe I’m priceless 😂
But I’ve definitely got something to offer even if it is all in disguise.
I never say this about myself but I know that I was good at that job especially with the kids. And it was more about how I’m made than what I learnt. The draw back is that it wasn’t so great for me. I care deeply and in that format it hurt me.
So I need to find an alternative that provides a similar effect but has a little more balance.
The weekend showed me that it’s possible.
Anyways I waited until dusk to return to the tree. Trying to wait as long as possible but not wanting to be alone in the forest in the dark.
When I got to the tree there were still some people there with kids. So I walked past and waited.
Finally they moved along and I walked back. when suddenly another family arrived. I took a spot underneath another tree and pretended to look at my phone.
The girl who I think was about 8 or 9 was reading al the left over tags and the card that said “Please take .. blow some bubbles and make a wish”
“ they all say that” she said .. “what does that mean?” She took a tag.
I wanted to tell her or be able to produce some bubbles from my bag but perhaps her wondering was enough.
Sparking something in her imagination.
And as I saw them disappear into the distance and I went to clean up the tree in near darkness, I was so glad that I had been there to hear her in that moment….
… . And I knew that Pixiebel isn’t ready to stop flying. In fact she is just getting off the ground. And realising she just needs a little more space than a restricting room to spread her wings.
I love that when i messaged my girl to share it all she said to me ..
“Oh mum I so miss your weirdness”
And I miss your wonderful, I thought.