|Clarion Alley (our walk to the playground)|
Most Mondays, when I take my son and his friend to the playground, I bring knitting. When we first get there we usually try the music class and depending on how that goes, there is then a visit to the merry go-round, seesaw, and spiderweb: all of which involve me, pushing, balancing, spotting. But after that, we visit the awesome tricycle-riding alley behind the rec center. And while there rare one or two other moms I sometimes chat with back there, often, I am alone or with two nannies, chatting in Portuguese with each other, and I knit.
I am not very good at knitting, but I love it. I am aware of some soothing quality in the motion: and it speaks to my type-A need to always be multi-tasking. And the fibers feel lovey, soothing and soft, across my hands. A little bit of sensory therapy during the day. It is easy to watch the boys and do at the same time, and really they don’t want my total engagement in this section of the playground, interfering with their cops-and-robbers fantasies.
But yesterday, I brought my Kindle instead. No music class, and no tricycle racing, in honor of Dr.King’s Birthday. And I knew there would be lots of kids to occupy them, a free moment for me. And I just can’t put down this book. And later, all day, I could feel it: miss the moment of forced awareness, the pleasure of the fibers against my skin. And in the afternoon, I didn’t get most of my to-do list done; instead, crumpling exhausted on the couch. I dragged through the afternoon, dinner was late, and I was strangely not present.
There is some research that shows that babies and small children need gross motor stimualtion in order to be able to access small motor skills successfully. And of course, the Waldorf philosophy stresses the importance of handwork for children. But what about adults? Do I need small motor stimulation to be able to successfully complete gross motor activity? Does it get reversed with age?
I wasn’t able to find anything, googling. But I picked up my knitting, last night, before bed: and I’ll be knitting today, too.