Tuesday, May 25, 2010

fast friends

A photo post for the gallery

One of the lovely things about daycare and preschool is watching the children's friendships emerge. Geekygirl has been with the same core group of kids since she was an infant, and with the careful guidance of the teachers who do a great and very patient job of teaching their savage natured charges respect for each other, these kids have formed strong, real and caring friendships.

This weekend was the preschool annual family picnic. I was the 'official photographer' for the event (that's what you get roped into if you turn up regularly with a big old camera around your neck!), so I spent a lovely afternoon following the kids and eavesdropping on their games.

It was so sweet to see the enthusiasm with which Geekygirl's friends greeted her as we arrived at the picnic, despite having seen her only two days before at school. The friends were excited by the novelty of being together in this new environment, a lovely sunny park dappled by majestic old trees.

In this picture the three musketeers are on a dinosaur hunt, having just decoded a secret message hidden under a rock. They played for at least two hours, making a home base at the foot of the largest tree, then taking it in turns to lead the adventure, inspiring each other with their flights of fancy and engaging in complicated role play. There were no fights or squabbles, no parental intervention. Just the children, completely engaged with one another and their imaginary world. It was quite fascinating to watch, and it took me far back into my own childhood, I can still remember some of the 'worlds' my friends and I used to play in.

I'm pleased with the way I managed to capture the fluid energy of the kids in motion in this picture, look at the intent pace of the kid in front, and how Geekygirl (in the striped pants) is effortlessly negotiating the gnarled tree roots, hands out to balance her .

I decided to suck up to Tara, host of this wonderful prompt and avid tree lover, by also posting a pic of the beautiful tree that was the center of the afternoon's games. There is nothing quite like the conjunction of fast friends, a big old tree and a sunny day.