The unschooling diaries: week twenty-nine
It started with a stick.
Seeing as most sticks, lately, get made into guns and swords, I thought I would try to imbue this one with more gentle powers. Especially as it was so beautiful.
Arthur had found it on a walk at my parents’ house: it was gnarly and strong – hazel I think.
With the help of some treasures from my mum’s haberdashery collection I crafted it carefully into a wand. There was something enormously therapeutic, actually, about wrapping thread around its form, and teasing on beads to add to its magic.
By the time Arthur woke up from his nap, his wand was born.
I’m not sure who started the game – the pointing with a ‘ping’ to use this magical stick as a tool for transformation. It might have been me, with pedestrian suggestions of a frog or a bird.
Since then, though, Arthur has taken the concept and run with it.
With an imagination that would put most drama students to shame, he pings me into all sorts of things. A cannonball, a barbecue, glitter, a corkscrew: you name it, I’ve had to use my best improvisational skills to create it – much to Arthur’s amusement.
He currently prefers to do the pinging rather than be pinged, but he is growing in confidence, and when he does dare to take the stage comes up with brilliant (and hilarious) manifestations of whatever idea is thrown at him.
The wand has actually become superfluous now in the execution of this game. It is just a way to pass the time, to dispel boredom or to liven things up. It can (and does) unfold whenever or wherever we happen to be, and I love it.
Imagination, creativity, drama, communication, laughter: and all because of a stick.