Monday, June 25, 2012

A Midsummer Evening :: A Tutorial

Kid's are so easy.
They require very little planning and agonizing...just the simplest of ideas can set a party in motion.

Really, all you have to do is pack a basket with some blankets...
and whisper a sweet secret in their ears:
"It's the longest day of the year...called the summer solstice.
Magic things happen on summer solstice night.
Fairies come out to play. 
We should go and celebrate.
We should watch the sun set.
You can go to bed late."

I tell you, those are party words. 
Their faces will brighten with expectation and, I swear, you will see the fairies dancing around in those luminous eyes.

Bring those children to a pretty place.
A nature-y sort of spot that feeds the soul and makes the Mama happy.
{Because when Mama's happy...}

If your chosen spot has sand...all the better.
Sand is fascinating to little hands.

The children will probably begin - with very little prodding from mother - to create a fairy house, complete with garden and rock wall, for the magical fairy romp that will happen after the sun falls behind the trees.

A simple word of instruction to the mothers hosting this party.
Be sure every child is in one of your most loved outfits. 
Even if it is a beast to wash and involves lace or tule or linen or white or...ripped jeans.

Because, if you are sitting at a beach or a forest preserve or a trickling brook or a backyard deck that speaks to your soul and calms you...and then you gaze at your beautiful children and their sweet, expectant faces and what you see is Dora grinning ridiculously back at your from their dirty t-shirt all you'll hear is,
"Swiper, no swiping!" 
or the backpack song
or, "there's a party in my tummy, so yummy..."

And these intrusive thoughts are not conducive to a happy mommy and breathtakingly gorgeous children.
These ugly clothes will cause you to become grumpy and sour-faced.
So, suck it up and put your kids in pretty things that you bought because you loved them.
Leave the play clothes safely at home and drink in the sight of your offspring just the way you envisioned them when you were pregnant with them and your world had yet to be soured by cartoon character apparel.

You can do laundry tomorrow.

On the same note, pack the books that you've always dreamed of your children thumbing through.
Not any of these atrociously written, hot pink, "Barbies can be a Veterinarian" poor excuses for literature that they've been so adamant about bringing home from the library.

Bring Laura Ingalls and Gyo Fujikawa and Maruice Sendak.

Be sure to kiss little sun-browned, sand-dusted shoulders.

And, bring your good camera, so you can capture all of the beauty around you.

The iPhone photos will serve their purpose...and actually capture the night's events quite nicely.

But it's really best to bring the big daddy camera with you for the real stuff.

The peaceful toddler taking in the gentle loll of the waves.
The grass whispering and bending to the breeze.
The handmade quilt crafted with love by your own Mama.
The miniature sailboat drifting far.
The pastel backlight of a muted sunset.

The big brother "losing" to little brother in an impromptu sibling race because, "Britt, you're just so fast!"

The airy movement of a neon-green tutu as she really does beat her big brother in a foot race.

The determination as they hoist the biggest log they can find to the fairy camp...
"The fairies need firewood for their bonfire."

And, when the glow of the sun is disappearing behind the trees, light your candles and watch the golden little faces take in the enchantment and know that, for a night, you have created magic in their hearts.

They've been bewitched by the summer solstice...
and so, probably, have you.


Jamie Willow said...

cracking up at your cartoon clothing rant. I so agree :)

lovely night, lovely photos. what a great memory for your children....thanks for including us!

Callie said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Love this little celebration.....very sweet, xoxoM

jek said...

Beautifully written and such a creative thoughtful mama. As a wanna-be photographer I fully agree on clothing. And while it doesn't match this event I would add name tags to that list for group events (in my case mission trips) waste of good shots.