I will be the first to admit that I often give the excuse that I am too busy to do what my kids want, especially when it involves going into the woods to see a “secret” fort, deer stand, or “special” rock. Not because I don’t like my children or am anti-nature, but I don’t always find joy in the trees or rocks that my darlings do and the matters in the house seem much more pressing. (The stick-tights and cockleburs are also on my list of unhappy things, and they are bad right now.)
This past weekend was no exception. I was not particularly excited about following my son down his “secret” path to see his “deer hunting” tree or his “special” hidden fort. Something told me that it meant more to him to share than it did for me to fold the laundry or finish the dishes. As he lead me into the woods, my 9-year-old chattered like a squirrel in a tree about the way he and his friends had discovered this place and how cool it was. His happy chatter was welcomed, as he has been in a bit of a funk lately unable to find kind words or pleasant things to say to his siblings or I.
When we arrived at the “deer hunting” tree, I saw a dead, dried up evergreen. What my son saw was an opportunity to sit up high, watching wildlife, with ample branches to share the spot with his friends as they “hunted” deer. I asked if the branches felt like they were going to break and he said, “No. They’re good. I know which ones I can stand and sit on.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll fall?” I asked.
“Nope. I’ll just catch another branch if I start to go down. There’s plenty in this tree.”
He was so secure in his answer I had to smile. As nimbly as a squirrel, my boy scampered down and said, “Come this way. Over here is my secret fort.”
Last Christmas my youngest son received a remote controlled drone. It was a nice drone. So nice, in fact, that it required 10 AA batteries. Four batteries went into the drone itself and six went into the remote.
Christmas was really good to my boy and it was a week or so before he got around to playing with the new flying contraption. The thing is, he decided to play with the drone in my absence. Hubby was “watching” our two boys and my 5 year-old nephew when they opened the drone and its parts. After the surprise hurricane of packaging and instructions, the boys enlisted hubby to help with the batteries and directions. Taking his dad duties very seriously, my husband coached the boys on how to insert batteries the correct way and made valiant attempts to read the directions as they flew the drone crazily INSIDE our house.
After a “crash course” in drone flying, hubby and the three aspiring pilots took the flying terror outside. It was a clear and fairly warm day for late December so take off was a go. The drone proved difficult to control for the little hands of the the boys, and my husband was forced to keep a vigilant eye on their piloting. After a bit, they were cold and chose to come inside. The drone was left on the kitchen counter and the boys dispersed to reek havoc on another part of the house.
A short time later, my husband took a phone call in our home office and the drone took an unsupervised flight compliments of my nephew.
Saturday as my kids and their cousins wrestled on my parents’ living room floor, my sister and I discussed which children we were leaving for Grandma and Grandpa to keep. (None of the children were in fact being left. They just wouldn’t stop wrestling.)
My sister’s car was full of hockey gear and fresh beef (picked up from the butcher shop that morning). My dad said he wasn’t sure how it was all going to fit. My sister assured him it would be okay. My nephew volunteered to leave his hockey gear, so he would not have to go to hockey at 6:30 the next morning.
My sister laughed and said, “I should just leave you and let Grandma take care of you.”
The Word Wizard Wyatt – credited with inventing the word “funishment”
My nephew’s response, “What kind of punishment is that? That’s more like a funishment!”
The expression, “God made the dirt and dirt don’t hurt,” is one that I have heard a lot since childhood. Now that I am doing my darndest to provide my children with a quality upbringing, I have to let the dirt fly sometimes.
This spot of loose sand and dirt brought so much joy to my three kiddos (and the puppy), while hubby and I took care of a water and weeds problem. Too many weeds, too little water for the cows.
They loved making mountains out of the powdery gravel and watching it filter through their fingers and toes. Pretending to cast spells and watching their sandy smoke fall was another magical practice. Seeing how dusty they could get our poor dog was another favorite challenge. While the dirt was flying, so were their imaginations and laughter. It felt so good to watch them be KIDS. Continue reading “Dirt Don’t Hurt”→