Does the sapling feel weighed down with expectations, a parent hovering over him saying, ‘You will be a great tree, a good upright specimen of Eucalyptus Camaldulensis, even bigger and better than me and your old Dad.’

in the heart of an ancient tree
a dream of time


I know kids in Year 1 who have tutors. Whatever happened to play? What happened to dreaming time. What ever happened to just letting them grow up?

too small
this child
to have that tic

where I swung my legs
and dreamed
the old man tea-tree
still bows over
black rocks

on the highest rung
of the monkey bars
a far-away child


Carpe Diem #439, expectation

20 thoughts on “Expectations

    1. I so agree Kristjaan. It’s imperative that we do our best to try and make time and situations for play. Especially once they are school aged. Before that they are able to play with pretty much anything.

  1. …and beyond, for all the play starved adults, who are fed a diet of one dimensional, so called ‘ adult entertainment.’ It’s one of my teeth gnashing rants, ( re children ) when I hear about constant government literacy box ticking, stats tests, pre-school ABC and numeracy..teachers are not able to lead a child into wonder, exciting their desire to know, and acquire knowledge through delight, not to mention autonomy and freedom….
    P.S Thanks for your comments on my site Belinda, I didn’t mean to set you homework!

    1. yes, everyone’s so g’damn serious. My daughter and her husband had to sign a declaration saying they will support the schools homework policy! The child is 5 years old and in prep (before grade 1) and she has homework! luckily she is into it now, but for how long?
      it is the government not the school making these rules but parents buy into it, despite the fact that it is well proven by statistics that kids who don’t do homework till year 10 actually do better than those that don’t. I could go on.
      as for my ‘homework’ visiting your blog, you weren’t alone today, I had a good old reading day. it was nice. and your work is quite delicious, some very inspiring poems and lovely turns of phrase. I’ve been seeing ‘sudden birds’ all day

  2. Hear, hear! What is it with this world that we are shoving so much on our children? Even worse, who declared that we have to give up playing when we’re adults? Where are the swings and jungle gyms for grownups?

  3. I let my house go… for want to let my children play. I can only hope it made them better people.
    I like watching my grandson now imagine conversations with his toys. I encourage picking up pieces of plants and things on walks – discovery is a valuable tool for life long learning.

    I’ve also let my children help me with the house, both boys. Set the dishes where they could help to reach when putting them away. They could fold the kitchen towels anyway they wanted. And match socks. Letting them help with house works I think helped to round them out. We tease that their partners (when ever as they were young then) would be very happy that their guys could cook, clean and even iron clothes 🙂

    1. yes, I think time is actually the big thing we can give our kids. Not so called ‘quality’ time playing with barbie dolls, though that can be fun too. But time alongside us just doing everyday things, the stuff of life. You can’t really stop a child from playing, they will find a way, but as they get older there is a deficit, and too much seriousness, in lots of kid’s lives. Most creative parents see it or intuit it, or are just so damn crazy (me) that the kids can’t help but grow up playful.
      🙂 dear Jules, hope all is good for you

      1. Crazy good is good in my book. Quite a bit of family jokes and humor in our house.

        Kindergarten used to be a transfer time from home to school. Now with so many children going to pre-schools kindergarten just doesn’t seem fun any more. I helped out with one of my sons glasses one year. Even just a half day program there was so much structure. And too me there is just too much homework. I think it would be nice if the main subjects were assigned a day, say math on Monday – instead of hours of homework from every subject every night. Now of course with computers there is a whole different set of problems.

        Good is always a relative term. For the most part ‘good’ – though. Still a bit sticky with distant family. But I’ll live. Thanks.

  4. I remember moving into my neighborhood 40 years ago. Kids on bikes, skateboards, playing football and soccer in the street. Now even the weekends are silent and empty with “child’s play”. the prime sport requires only a cell phone. thanx for the post.

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