My eldest daughter just left for her camp out with Class 3 of our local Steiner ( Waldorf) school. She will be away for three whole nights. Last summer she was just away for one night and daddy went with the class, but this time she is going without us. She is nine.
One of the subjects in the third year of the Waldorf curriculum is farming: the children have been spending a morning every week working at a local community allotment; gardening and caring for the chickens and their teacher has been reading the Little house books to them when they have their snack every day. Children of this age group question everything; how things work; why things are as they are and the curriculum meets them at every stage in their development.
The children have just completed their main lesson block about farming and as a culmination of this they are going to stay at a biodynamic farm in the South East. It is going to be a big adventure for them: they will be getting up early to milk the cows and will be responsible for feeding the chickens, helping prepare their own meals, digging a compost toilet (!) and they shall be attending talks, asking questions, going for nature walks and of course playing lots of cooperative games with campfire songs and stories in the evening. Sounds lovely – I want to go!
It has been a bit fraught here these last few days as her little sister has been very anxious about her big sister going away and H herself, although very excited about this big adventure, was also showing signs of nerves and having nightmares again, so there has been a fair bit of family discord. Sometimes the build up to things is more difficult than the actual event itself I find.
I am hoping we can keep C entertained these next few days as she will be missing her sister terribly. They are so close. I of course am going to miss her too. I got quite emotional yesterday evening at the thought that we wouldn’t see her for three days and that this is just the beginning of many many little steps away from home, getting bigger as they get older. But at these times I remind myself of the wise words of Khalil Ibrahim in The Prophet:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
For it is our job to prepare our children for the future, to encourage them to take risks, to seek their purpose.
On the crafting front, I thought it would be nice for H to have a few homemade things to take with her to remind her that we are thinking of her and she is always in our heart. She needed a camp pillow, so I made her one like the one here.
I am about to start making one for C as she was feeling very left out anyway.
I also knitted up a quick cowl for the cold nights round the campfire ( we are in England after all!) as both girls have had their eye on my Drop stitch cowl. I cast on less stitches to make it a better fit.
As you can see they are happy with them. C likes to wear hers pulled down as that is the look she was used to with my one! It is such a lovely quick knit. I did two in two short evening sessions watching Call the Midwife. Joy!
And then I baked a cake last night for the children to share at camp. All parents have baked something, so there should be plenty of cake to go around. I used our own beetroot in this beetroot seed cake recipe here
I had to omit egg due to egg allergies in the class and used ground linseed instead: Two tablespoon of linseeds and six tablespoons of warm water replaces two eggs. Leave to stand for a few minutes before using. I found this in here. It works well. I also replaced the sugar with honey to make it less sweet. It has worked out pretty well, if a little crumbly, but still very tasty. The original version is delicious! I often make it for cake sales at school.
So now for three whole days with just one daughter. We are planning a fish and chip supper down on the beach one evening as C loves that and we haven’t done it yet this year…now to think of some more plans to make C feel she isn’t missing out terribly and that having us all to herself is actually a treat!
Joining Frontier Dreams and all the other crafty folk at KKCO.