For instance, last Tuesday, I asked the little twins, Garrett and Landon, if they wanted to go for a short nature walk. Cole and Bella were at kindergarten and the little ones and I had nothing but time on our hands until we had to go pick the big twins up from school.
Upon leaving the house, I grabbed a couple magnifying glasses. What good is a nature walk if you can't look at things close up and enjoy them, right?
I pulled them down the street in their little red wagon and said, "Okay, guys, if you see something interesting, let me know and I'll stop so we can take a look".
About 5 minutes into the walk, this was the first thing that caught their immediate attention...
Yes, people, that is EXACTLY what you think it is. My precious 2-yr old boys saw a piece of dog shit and thought it was absolutely fascinating. Needless to say, I let them view it from afar, as much as they pleaded with me to let them view it up close.
Moving on, we continued walking until I saw a nice, crunchy pile of leaves. I said, "Hey guys, look at all these cool leaves! Let's examine them up close!" Apparently, that wasn't captivating enough for them so instead they chose to scamper through the neatly raked pile of leaves on the sidewalk, kicking them left and right.
I imagined the gardeners who take care of our neighborhood's landscaping silently cursing about how stupid it was to take a break from leaf blowing right at the same time as I took my
In the meantime, Garrett found a super cool stick and continued to hit Landon in the back of the head with it, while screeching, "Yee-haw".
To appease me, Landon finally agreed to look at some of the leaves with his magnifying glass. But he refused to squat down to get a closer view. Trust me, though, if it had been another steaming pile of dog shit, he would've shoved his face in it, had I let him.
The last stop on our nature walk was a distasteful message written with spray paint on the sidewalk, probably by some gang banger who had nothing better to do at 2:00 am while his mother laid in bed crying out to the good Lord, "Oh, please tell me where I went wrong with my sweet baby boy!"
Of course, the graffiti required a thorough study so Garrett moved in closer and closer with his magnifying glass.
"What's it say, Mommy?" he asked. "Uh, well", I replied "it says Moms totally rock". He crouched down closer to the cement and continued to stare at the writing as he said, "Wow, I like it".
It was finally time for us to head home. Little brother (by just one minute) pulled big brother in the wagon, which gave my aching arm a break.
Garrett screamed, "Moms rock" all the way home.
Ultimately, the nature walk wasn't exactly how I had envisioned it in my head but that's okay. We were able to get outdoors and enjoy the cool, crisp air while the sun shined down on us.
There was a valuable lesson for both them and me that day. For them, they learned that it's true that all Moms totally rock. If it's written in stone, then it must be true. No room for argument there.
And I learned that it's amusing, as well as refreshing, to see the world through the eyes of your child. Even if it does involve admiring dog shit, as opposed to a gorgeous bushel of flowers. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder....or so they say.