The post below was published before i realized that the kids were asleep. So now i have time to quickly add photos… only as a separate post though. The lovely grass, complicated Gotham City and half finished City Aquarium, Zoya’s little dance video clip and a pic of our bonfire. A Shiny day indeed.

Today is a day i would add to the Bharadwaj annals as a SHINY day. I’ve been a part of the Shine with unschooling Yahoo group for a few weeks and have begun to love Anne O (the list owner). There is something powerful present in her words. When one works on themselves it comes thru to everything else. I never understood the importance of true inner work until recently…. and its impact on our children and their true selves.

This morning Raghu poured the pancake batter onto the hot pan by himself. He then proceeded to flip the pancakes all by himself. I TRUST him now…. I never fully did before. Even now… the need to say “be careful” or some such is still present in me. Being able to stop those words from coming out and perhaps adding a safety net without compromising the child’s need for independence is the way to go… as many times as is possible. We had a great time and enjoyed the pancakes. Z enjoyed watching us flip. Raghu singed his knuckles a bit during one flip. He cried and then allowed me to wash his hands with cold water and apply a burn cream. The he went on to make another pancake for me… smiles and all.

Raghu had been building a train station in the front room. Its been an ongoing project for about 2 days. He decided it was actually a part of Gotham City. He then placed the Batman Lego Car he had built at one side and declared Batman the protector of the city. He took out all his old wooden buildings, blocks, etc. He created a complicated city with lots of city services like hospitals, garages, homes, high-rises, police station, express train stops, etc. Then he took a round shallow bowl and added water and voila a lake in the middle of a park was created. he created a park with wooden trees all around. Now i could not help myself… i had to ask if i could help and play with him. he said yes. So then we added blue watercolor to the lake. We created an aquarium in a large tray filled with water. We got out all the fish, crabs, octopuses, turtles etc and placed them. Then some potato press green playdough and our park was really rocking.

By then i had to watch Raghu and see if he still wanted me to be a part of it or not. I told him i would be his helper/fetch-person… and he loved it. He told me to paint roads and also asked me to do things in a particular way. When i noticed that there had been enough discussion, fun for both of us etc… i retreated. But he asked me to build the zoo with Z. So on we went. We never did finish the zoo as Z was not in the mood. But it was a gorgeous experience for me…. and i think a very shiny time for R. I am also amazed at how precision oriented his building, arranging and organization of the city was.

Also thru the morning I was playing The Chieftains… lovely fast paced, Irish, Celtic type music. Ravi’s rocking BH (before Hema) collection always surprises me. Z kept nodding her head and kept beat with her curls swaying and head bobbing. Amazing time really for her and my camera.

Late in the evening when dinner turned into pizza and wine night… Raghu suggested a small bonfire. When i put up blocks… he simply said… candles, some wood and a clear space around it is all he wanted. Geesh… i went ahead and found an old tin box, some lovely wood chunks, candles and start-up paper. And it turned into a shiny, bright tin box, bonfire. We danced, ate pizza and laughed for a while on the balcony. Our 8 feet square balcony was enough for this little boy’s fire wish to come true. We switched off all the lights in the house and enjoyed the bright flames. We were consciously silent as the kids ripped up the empty pizza boxes and lit them with the candles and then threw them quickly into the tin box. Z too!!

We did not have the energy or ability to fulfill Raghu’s next wish… which came about after the bonfire was almost done…. a camp-out in the balcony. He wanted us to set up the new tent we bought in Sg., challenging enough even when we aren’t tired. We were already pretty woozy. It was not just the wine 🙂 I’d had a long day with Z pooping in new places and peeing enormous quantities into the portable potty, besides all the other fun I’ve described above. And a playdate in the evening…. and some bicycling downstairs. And Ravi’s day and week even had been rough. So sadly just could not do more. But we’ve promised him a camp out on Saturday night. Hopefully his wish will still be flaming till then.

Zoya managed to pick up the land-line while i was in the bathroom… and recognized Ravi’s voice on the other end, despite the crackling line. She then told him that i was in the bathroom and said bye. Amazing little girl. Don’t know when she learnt to do a complete call all by herself.