One Christmas, I was determined to get the kids exactly what they needed. I had been reading a number of books by Maria Montessori and she had inspired me. What kids really needed to play and learn were beautifully crafted toys and learning activities.
This led me to a number of eco-friendly toy manufacturers that had a wide-variety of sustainable, organic, eco-friendly, and naturally painted toys. To a mother, the toys looked delightful. No batteries. No noises. Just pure imagination.
So, I planned and purchased and wrapped their new treasures. St. Nick's Day came and the boys were full of glee. The unwrapped, looked around and wondered, "Was this it?" Where were the Matchbox cars? Where were the electronic noises and gizmos? And, most of all, WHERE WERE THE LEGOS?
The disappointment was almost audible. My boys surveyed the landscape and found their mother in need of reeducating.
For every birthday and special occasion since, they have been sure to spell out and quiz me about their wants and desires, ensuring I would not make the same mistake again.
This year, as we were doing a toy box clean out in preparation for St. Nicholas' Day, I noticed a trend. Many of the toys that were sent to charity were organic, wooden, naturally painted and eco-friendly. Some of the wooden toys were broken beyond repair and Mom swallowed her pride and laid them to their eternal rest.
In all of Montessori's books she noted the importance of beautiful, high quality toys. I thought for sure following her advice was wise. However, I had failed to see the forest for the trees. You see, her motto was always, "Follow the child." For ever St. Nick's Day since, I have worked hard to follow my children. All the way to the LEGO isle, where they find toys that are beautiful to them. No batteries. No noises. Just pure imagination.
Who says you can't teach an old Mom new tricks?
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