Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Children of Siberia

Children of Siberia
Weather--Warming, windy and snow
Temp--plus 38F Wind--10-20 mph

Children are basically the same all over the world. They are explorers, searching their environment for new experiences and new things to test and try out. Mothers everywhere spend much of their time trying to corral and limit their child's searching, but most children find ways to experience the adventure of discovery.

It is the same in Siberia and I have seen some instances of children wandering off, or trying to, when their mothers are otherwise occupied, sometimes without incident and sometimes to their hurt or worse. From our 9th floor bedroom I see much of the adventures of children as they tag behind mom, get pulled on a sled, get picked up while crossing the street or when moving too slowly. Even without hearing the sounds that surely accompany these events, the body language and actions are enough of the story.

I was too late to catch the action from the window of the church meeting hall at Zolani Kupola (green roof), but the tracks in the snow tell the story. Mom is walking (right to left in the picture) with a 2 year old when distracted by another adult and, before she knows it, the little one climbs into the snow bank and is trudging through the snow toward the rail road tracks beyond the fence at the top. When the mother discovers the missing child, she bounds through the snow, picks him/her up and makes her way back to the road. As mom finishes her conversation with the other adult, junior is again off toward the fence and she has to retrieve him/her once again. Giving up the exchange with the other person, the mother and child continue toward the train station. 

Another attempt at adventure unfolded below the bedroom window as I was getting dressed the other morning. A young mom with a toddler holding an orange plastic shovel came along the walk-way across the street in a slow, meandering way as the child stopped every few feet to examine something in the snow bank. He/she suddenly picked up something and put it to its face and of course mom intervened, throwing it back into the snow, leaving the child to look back at the object and then to mom a couple of times. Mom moves forward a couple of steps, encouraging further progress and a little distance from the object, but junior heads back to the object. She again intercepts him/her and decides the walk is over. Picking junior up, she walks briskly to the corner and turns right up the driveway to her apartment entry where I finally got the picture. I just hate missing the action shot.

Just going home after a family night at our house can be an adventure. In this sequence, a three year old boy is prepared for the -30 degree night as his family walks to the bus stop for the ride home. By the time they get him into his suit and the parents get their own coats, scarfs, mittens, and boots on, this kid is almost comatose from the body head trapped in his little suit.

The Cabo window looks out onto a school in the back and Sister Cindy saw a cute scene which I again did not get in my camera. A class at the school was at recess and the children were playing and digging in the snow as if they were at the beach, digging in the sand. They had a number of plastic shovels and buckets and were making tracks and digging holes when recess was over and they were called away from the play and pretend to the reality of the classroom again. The same game was seen in microcosm with a mom supervising a toddler with a shovel in a spot near our back door.

At church the music in First Branch is conducted by a 12 year old daughter of the Drachyov family and their 2 year old child has taken to standing by her while she directs. Her mother tries to divert her, but to no avail.

 Even some of our big kids are continually seeking adventure. Here Elder Antuna is trying to drink out of a juice box after Zone Conference lunch without his lips touching the spout on the theory that it would still be sanitary. What do you think? He thinks he made it and feels pretty satisfied.

Even Elder Peterson got into the act. I left my camera on the table after dinner tonight and came back into the kitchen to find him experimenting with close-ups of his face. Another adventure.

 Kids are all alike,
What a country


Shannon said...

Why yes, yes we are all alike. Even at this moment I was contemplating if I could hack into your blog account and change the font color of your blog header and alter the dimensions of your photograph....hmmmm, we are always seeking out new things.

Trisha said...

How sad that when we become parents we think we know it better and forget the wonders and joys of new things. I see this often at work with the things the children are learning and how the pure joy of life is seen through their eyes.