Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Every Day

Kids honor the Earth every day. They see wonder in a ladybug landing on their arm, in a cool rock they find on a path, in the surprise freezing rain that pelted our Southern Californian lawn yesterday.

Maybe it's because they're closer to ground-level so they spot what we'd just walk past. Plus, they don't have a thousand things competing for space in our thoughts, like what to make for dinner, or whether you remembered to move the wash into the dryer, or if you can make the mortgage this month.

They are free from worry. As they should be. They're children.

Sawyer asked last week if we could go on a nature walk. And since we're lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of trails and regional parks, it was easy to do. This weekend we drove about five minutes to a trail head.

He brought a bunch of paper stapled together he called his Nature Book. We climbed a narrow, single-track path up and around a hill. We stopped to listen to the hiss of the wind through the tall grass, which Sawyer pronounced "creepy."

We saw a big black beetle right before we got to our first stop, a bench with a view.

Sawyer got to work.

Nice view, huh?

Perfect for inspiration..

Then we were off to hike to the pond - but not before a hiker and a couple guys on mountain bikes mentioned that they'd just seen a rattlesnake. Of course that's all I needed to hear. I shrieked whenever the kids got too close to the sides of the path where the grass is thick and high and perfect for a snake to lurk. I insisted they walk right down the middle. I kept my eyes peeled for any suspicious looking "sticks."

We finally made it to the pond, where there were so many tiny baby frogs hopping around I was petrified I was going to squish one - and I have to say, frog may be the only thing I haven't stepped on since having kids. I didn't want to start now.

Sawyer, like any boy worthy of the name, caught a frog and had such a thrill holding it (sorry, no pictures, something about having to keep a 13 month-old out of the green water). And then his sister spotted an orange caterpillar on the hike back, and that was about as exciting as it could get.

It was a great reminder that sometimes, it's the little things that make us the happiest  - and you never know what's going to be under the next leaf, if you just take the time to look.


kirsten said...

My happiest times are with the kids, outside. It just seems to make everyone calmer, including me.

Yesterday the girls insisted that DH take them outside in the rain, just so they could stomp in puddles. When do we stop loving that?

Cheryl said...

What's funny is X loves to be outside - he is definitely happiest when he's out and about or even just playing in the sandbox.

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

This was a very nice post. The pictures were beautiful. I love it out in nature.
My school kids get so excited about all the bugs etc they see too.

JoAnn said...

I believe in making little boys play outside as much as possible, until their too tired to misbehave. :) I say, "Q how fast can you run to that tree? let me count". I do it over and over until he's soooo tired. and he loves it!
However, he likes to step on snails and bugs...I guess he might become a hunter while yours will be a biologist? As long as he's not a taxidermist right?

parentingBYdummies said...

Looks like a great way to spend an afternoon. The dudes are always finding things in the wooded area behind our yard. I hate them playing in there because we've seen some dangerous snakes around, but I feel like such a dodo telling little boys not to climb trees. What's a slightly paranoid, possibly overbearing mom to do?!

The Mayor! said...

Us too, we virtually spend April to October outside together, most of the summer at the cottage. Love it! Try an easy one for today, blog your Friday Funny of the week....e-mail, joke, personal story....& come Mr Linky it at Crazy Town! 1st inaugral Friday Funny blog hop, let's get it rollin'! :-D

Anonymous said...

I love those kind of days, when you just slow down.

Hagler Happenings said...

I love making memories with my kids like this.

My oldest makes books all the time. It's so neat to look back at them.
(I'm impressed you could take any pictures with a toddler in tow!)

Maggie S said...

How beautiful

Anonymous said...

Happy SITS Saturday share fest, have a great weekend.

Diane said...

Nice post. Great photos. How come it's the moms who always worry about the rattlesnakes and everyone else can just enjoy the moment. Sigh...
Happy Saturday Sharefest from a sista. drop by and see my blog some time. Occasionally this grandma writes about a kid/mom post.

Cheryl said...

Karen - it was an absolutely gorgeous day. I do get a charge out of seeing the mountains every day, so I'm trying to enjoy!

JoAnn - A taxidermist. Ugh. That just sent a shiver up my spine!

PBD - I KNOW! Don't look in the grass, there could be snakes, but there could also be really cool bugs. GAH!

Mayor - Where's your cottage?

Mombshell - Me too. Need to do it more often.

Jill - We LOST the book. NO idea where it went!! I'm really upset!

Maggie and Aine - Thanks for stopping by!

Diane - Yes. My husband was not at ALL concerned!

WhisperingWriter said...

How nice.

I don't mind being outside so long as the weather is adequate.

Anonymous said...

I laughed when you were checking out all the 'stick' looking things! You know, you are probably right - kids see more things because they are closer to the ground!

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