That was dawn on the day of the solstice. We got up at 6am on that day, lit fires and candles and ate nice food, while the mist sat in the valley like a white sea. The nice food and gifts have kept coming ever since and I think some of the teenagers have fireworks planned for tonight. For me, tonight is just the turning of a calender page - it's just a number. But we did buy yet more nice food and I do wish people a happy 2008.
We'll be celebrating our baby's first birthday in January, so 2007 has been a good year. She's an absolute pleasure for us all. She's not bothered about playing with toys though - her favourite activities just now are climbing, receiving rounds of applause (with which she joins in), polishing things with tea towels when the washing up is being done and putting things in the washing machine. All sorts of things.
Lyddie has just grasped the sound-blending aspect of reading and is wanting to read things all the time. Like with the baby and toys though, she doesn't want to read children's books but the books she considers to be mine, and newspapers, instead. I can understand this. Children want to join in and be useful members of the group, not to live in their own artificial but separate world.
The other thing they want to do is reciprocate. So, if I put a piece of carrot in the baby's mouth, she wants to get some carrot to put in my mouth. And if I teach Lyddie something about reading, she wants to teach me something about reading. It seems very important to them that the slate in these respects should be kept equal, as it were. They don't want to feel as if they owe a person something.
I'm very impressed by them anyway. They constantly teach me that instinctive human nature is innately wise and sensible, if only it's trusted and respected.