The boys stopped in their tracks and I stepped back to allow the building owners, now alerted, to take over.
"Yeah, that's our house!" "Don't knock it down!" and "We're still using it!" I imagine it must have felt a little like arriving home after work with that last piece of cake in mind, only to find that someone has eaten it. The two boys, these boys who on other days wrestle with abandon, stood, considering their next move.
One of them looked to me in complaint, "They're using all the blocks."
I answered, "They are. You can talk to them about that."
He watched them for a moment and apparently thought better of demanding blocks of his own and instead asked, "Can I play too?"
This is a tricky question in preschool. It's often answered with, "No." I usually coach kids to simply say, "I'm playing with you," ask, "What are you playing?," or, best, to just join in, but in this case our cooperative shopkeepers said, "Sure." It was a delight to watch how six children managed their tiny, delicate space, stepping carefully, slowly bending and twisting their bodies to accommodate one another, finding room for one more, repairing damage, and always talking, talking, talking, weaving together their game, their story with language full of drama, storytelling, engineering, commerce, careful, controlled large body movement, and agreements.
And through it all, this fragile building remained standing, until finally, in the end, by mutual consent, it had it's date with destiny.
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