Difference of Opinion

Little Man has been dragging his nature box around with him the last two weeks. This box is filled with all of his treasures he finds outside, from pinecones to dead cicadas. It also includes his magnifying glass, flower press, nature journal, all sorts of good stuff that he loves. I’ve been reading The Creative Family by the lovely Soulemama and was inspired by her family’s gorgeous nature table. So yesterday, Little Man and I got to it and set one up.

Our visions were a bit different.

Mine included covering the table with some pretty fabric, adding some nice plants, getting some sweet dishes and jars for all his stuff and setting it all up. Nice, right?

His plan was no plants unless he was growing them himself, no pretty fabric (no pretty anything!), cardboard boxes and cans.

Guess who won?
Difference of Opinion

Not the most attractive nature table, is it?

Since he was the only one of us who felt the need to burst into tears at every suggestion, I figured I’d better let him win on this one. I’m just thankful he did not remember the beaver skeleton that he and the Skeptic found last summer, which is hidden in the basement. I’m sure he’d want that on display too. The dead cicada is there, but I hid the jar behind his radish plant. At least we agreed on keeping all his supplies on the second shelf under the table, so at the top is just for display and collecting. I’m hoping it will evolve a bit over the summer and maybe when he’s not so tired (or feeling so very five) that we can rearrange a bit. I really would like it to be for the whole family, but for now he has claimed it as his. (Could I get him to go for felted bowls?)

Little Man is a constant teacher in letting go. So many times I have an idea for a project and his idea turns out to be very different from mine. It’s so hard for me to realize that the whole point is for him to get to create, that I might have a suggestion or idea but really it’s all about him. I have plenty of chances to do my own thing, and he certainly doesn’t tell me how to spin or knit.

Knittykid is getting into the creative picture around here too now, so I’ll be spending my summer making sure that both boys have their chance to try their own ideas, keeping mine to gentle reminders or suggestions if they need it.

looking out



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8 responses to “Difference of Opinion

  1. And that makes you a great parent. 🙂

  2. I second Chris’ comment! 🙂

  3. Our nature table has lots of rocks. Unfortunately, Youngest Child thinks that chunks of asphalt are rocks and brings LOTS home. Oh, so attractive. I did splurge at Christmas time and buy a block Nativity set for the table. That was very popular and didn’t get put away until Valentine’s Day!

    Hey, dead worms and bugs – they’re all nature too!

  4. Good for you – it is so hard to try not to stage manage it all. Sometimes we manage that here, sometimes not. What’s in the box? Is there a creature in amongst that grass?

  5. Amy

    Outstanding. And good on you for figuring out that it’s better to let kids go in their own direction while they were still young.

  6. Meg

    Think of it this way: you and Little Man agree on the essential part, that a nature table is a good idea! I’m curious about that box, too – any critters in there?

  7. it is a hard thing, letting them create on their own, but i think you are doing a marvelous job! at least you recognize it. there are parents who are not so gracious!

  8. ali

    That is such a great idea! Maybe that’s what I should do in our bay window… when I get it all decluttered… maybe…
    I have a lot of rock collectors, maybe I can find some clear glass bowls… hmmm… you’ve got me thinking…

    and happy knitting-

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