Thursday, April 30, 2009

Plan Z

Last November our dock neighbors cast off to sail away into the sunset. Unfortunately the wind and waves and sea sprites had another plan. They abandoned ship near Bermuda and never saw their boat (their home) again. They now live on land overseas and are trying to piece their life back together.

This family had a 4 year old girl who was Zach's dear friend and playmate for 2+ years. The only thing scarier than a mama holding her daughter and jumping off a boat at night in to a storm to be rescued by helicopter is a little boy imagining his good friend doing just that. We did our best to shield Z from the whole drama, but people talk, and kids listen, and he figured it all out.

And so he asks... Where is M? Where is M's boat? What was wrong with the boat? Why didn't the men in the helicopter rescue their boat too? Very critical questions to answer for a little one whose whole life has been his boat. So I fall back on my usual unschooling answer to 4-year old questions... "what do you think?"

And here's what he decided...

He's got a plan and would like the sea sprites to call a do-over. Z's plan is that his ghost friend, Sally, will drive a "ginormous" ship out to M and throw out "not breakable rope" that will be tied to M's boat with "fancy pirate knots". And the ghost crew, led by the fearless Sally, will tow them away from the "bigmongus" waves to safety back home to our marina. The end.

If only play silks, toy boats, and wooden imaginary friends could change the bad dreams that are sometimes our grown up reality. If only our children could make us grown ups understand that that imagination is the key to perception, compassion, and hope.


Breeze said...

I love how children work everything out in play. Adults could take a lesson and work through things a bit more and resolve them for ourselves until we're reconciled.

Great post. Scary stuff, I grew up near the ocean and spent a lot of time in boats. I read your blog and I long to be on the live there, what a dream!

mamaroots said...

wow- so scary and also just so amazing to see how Zach worked it out- children truly are teachers.

I have to admit that story gave me the chills, I went through a flash flood about 12 years ago that I had to swim out of and ever since then have trouble imagining journeys out onto open water in a boat even though I am a good swimmer. It will probably take some time for this family to recoup- peace and love to your friends-

Tell Zach I love that his Imaginary Friends are such good magical pals!

Charlotte said...

Sounds like a wonderful plan to me. Thank you for sharing this post. Great way to see how kids work stuff out!

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