This growing up happens fast, no doubt. Three summers ago my wife, daughter and I spent a month in Italy, mostly in a small Piedmont town called Vogogna, which backs up into the northern side of the Ossola Valley not too far from Domodossola. Just this evening I found a video my daughter took one morning on our Flip Video camera as we took a hike up the mountain and found ourselves above the ruin of a thirteenth century fortress.
Eleanor and I have followed my wife’s coat-tails on a number of adventures—to England, to Italy, to Egypt, and to Tunisia. This particular summer we were there because one of her co-authors for a textbook writing project for Oxford University Press has a summer home there. While the writers wrote, Eleanor and I explored. She was just days away from turning six, and she was up for anything. Her imagination was operating on some sort of hyper-drive for virtually the entire trip.
Putting the camera in her hand has left us with one of the best gifts of the trip—a glimpse, perfectly preserved, into how she thought, played, and imagined. The video reminds me of the importance of putting the learning in the child’s hands. Let her use the camera. Let her narrate.
“So how would it be if we lived in that castle? It would be pretty freaky!”