A Child-Led Adventure

Eric's been really enjoying a book called The Islanders recently (reviewed on my last We Like To Read post), and in one part the children sneak out at night to go exploring on their own whilst the parents are sleeping.  Eric really wanted to do this too, so I explained that it wouldn't be safe for him to go out at night on his own, but that if he'd like to he can go exploring in the daytime and I will stay nearby, but he can choose wherever he wants to go and feel like he's on his own. 

So this afternoon that's what he decided he'd like to do.  He said he wanted me to walk with him but he would be the leader, and that I could have a turn being the leader too.

We ended up going through little paths we've never taken before and seeing different parts of our village (I genuinely thought we'd been everywhere in our village!) For Eric it was an adventure of the imagination - "We're exploring the Wild Interior", "Look, a cat, it's on the roof, it's jumped into that pot" (there was no real-life cat!), "Look, some stepping stones". 

We saw a real cat and Eric followed it as it ran across the path in front of us before disappearing through a hole in a gate.  Eric went to peek through to see where it had gone. 
We rescued a worm that was getting baked on the pavement in the sun and we stopped to look at bees and a beetle with yellow knees. 
The best thing was seeing how excited he was.  He kept saying "I'm the leader!", "I'm so excited to be exploring" and "We're here! This is a beautiful place".  

He decided when he wanted to go home "because I've had quite a busy day" and was a bit worried that he didn't know the way, but we worked it out and when he recognised where we were he was happy again. 

If I was leading the adventure I would have chosen to go out of the village and into the countryside, so it was really interesting.  I thought I was quite a child-led parent but it was actually more difficult than I thought not to choose where we were going, so it has made me realise I have some way to go.  We'll definitely go on another Eric-led adventure soon.

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