This weekend was unbelieveably gorgeous out- mid 60’s and sunny- like a spring day – except it’s February.  Well we decided to get out and finish up some projects in the backyard.  We had some extra decking so we wanted to build a little deck off of the cottage. 

stage one deck

One thing I’ve learned since having kids is that everything takes a bit longer.  I should say I’ve learned two things, #2 is patience!  Ryder is the best helper ever.  He really gets into it and has a good time.

 ryder and the wheelbarrow

  It is so worth the extra time it takes to have him out there helping us (and learning).  We often laugh that he’ll either be an architect or a chef because he’s either building or cooking with us. 

Too often, we (adults) are just trying to get things done quickly and don’t take that extra time to slow down and show our children how it’s done.  This is something Doug and I have vowed to do with Ryder and Saige.  There is a sense of pride ad ownership for Ryder when we have completed a project.  He calls the deck “his new deck”. 


This is also a great learning environment for children- whether it’s math (counting how many cups or spoonfuls to pour into the bowl or how many inches long something is) or science (when you add yeast to warm water it bubbles) or any other subject – it’s not like you’re forcing it down their throats- they actually enjoy it and so do we.

We had the best time – KPFA was doing their fund drive and it was an entire day of Grateful Dead music with David Gans (obviously we were in heaven) and Ryder too got into the groove on his new deck. 

So I guess what I’m saying is, slow down, next time your children want to help, let them- it may take a little longer but in the end everyone will benefit. 

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”