Focus ,determination, and a delightful sense of humour.
Today I had the privilege of spending time observing Grace setting about learning as many things as she could about her world in the Kina room. First of all, she explored the climbing rope ramp and what a delight to watch her. I was full of appreciation of how motivated and determined she was to master skill after skill after skill, whether it was fine motor skills, gross motor skills, language, relationships, or even the nature of humour! And not only this, but all these things came in such a complex and unpredictable package rather than in an organised tidy linear fashion!
I took a series of photos of Grace as she climbed that ramp and they capture the way she is so completely focussed on coordinating limbs and assessing distance and retrieving her balance. It is clear to me that Grace can manage this ramp pretty well and has deliberately chosen to tackle it while carrying a spoon and a bowl as well, just to add some spice to the complexity. Just at the end she dropped the spoon and being unable to reach it, Grace decided to follow the spoon, and so she had to get herself and the bowl off sideways. Which was pretty tricky as the ramp goes up at an angle and it was a big lift to get a leg up and out and over!
Later on, I had an enchanting exchange during which Grace was playing with a plastic bowl on her head and then saw me smiling at her and came closer and closer, playing with the bowl, and generously sharing the moment with me, with her eyes and her body language and her gorgeous smile. Grace’s determination to tackle challenges is such a driving force. During that one hour I saw her attempt about a dozen different and varied skills, many of which she created for herself. Once again, as when I met her last week, I noticed how single minded and focussed she can be. I shared a book of mine with her and Rubi and about 15 minutes later I asked Grace if she knew where it was. Off she went and I did not see where she went or where she looked but she found it and brought it to me. Her focus is quite outstanding, and her quiet, gentle demeanour with the other children is also very beautiful to watch. When I spend time with Grace it reminds me of how complex the world looks from a child’s point of view and how important it is that we give children, as Grace has clearly been given, the time and the respect to assess situations, consider options, weigh up their feelings and feel empowered to express their own perspective. Thank you, Grace.
(Recorded by Evelyn. May 2013)