Sometimes it’s the things you don’t say

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This week’s blog is brought to you by the Montessori Dad of our household, Richard O’Leary. I’m blessed to have a husband who is as committed to Montessori as I am! 


On an idyllic bushwalk with my son, I time travel back to my own childhood…

My youngest son scratches out a line with a stick as he walks along the bush path on a sunny Sunday.

The thin line stretches past the hollowed out log, the fallen trunk we often walk across and in and out of the barriers designed to stop the horse and bike riders. Unbroken, it twists and turns, goes up and down, through and around. A single furrow unfurling across a forest of ferns and trees and fungi. I walk a little way ahead with our dog, who sniffs the earth and marks its territory.

I stop and turn to watch my five-year old, captivated by his concentration, wondering what is going on in his head.

Is he ploughing a path to a treasure?

Is he pointing to the future?

Or marking the past?

I am tempted to ask him, but catch myself just in time. What would be the point? More importantly, why interrupt him?

As we talk through the bush on this T-shirts and shorts winter morning, I drift back to my childhood and remember the cocoons I created with my imagination.

Inside everything is intense: colours, sounds, feelings. I make the rules and life makes sense. At the edges the everyday becomes a blur. I know it is there, but it seems less real than what I’ve created.

The lining that separates these worlds is as delicate as the soapy membrane of a bubble blown by a child. All it takes to break it is a misdirected thought or the sound of an adult’s voice.

But until that happens I am stronger, smarter, happier. I am careless and care less about what others think. Fearless and fearsome. Invincible.

A snap brings me back to the bush path where my son breaks off the end of the stick where it has been bent out of shape after catching on a divot. He wiggles the two pieces until the last strands separate and throws the shorter stick into the bush.

Repairs done, he goes back to scratching out a line in the dirt and I watch him. The clutter of my life flies away and everything is intense: colours, sounds, feelings.


Question: I’d love to hear about your experiences as a Montessori parent. Have you ever caught yourself before interrupting your child’s concentration? Or done it and realised straight away that you had? I’ve done both! Leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you!

With love,

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