Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just a bag full

The night before we had a talk. On the drive up I warned him once again. One small bag, I said. No wheelbarrows, no huge baskets full, nothing more than we can eat and use in a few days. Deal?

Past years when we go apple picking the boy child in particular picks and picks with the enthusiasm of a paid day laborer. But the thing is, aside from maybe a few sliced apples with peanut butter, he's not really an apple kid. He won't eat apple pie. He won't touch applesauce. He's not fond of apple butter. So why on earth are we picking all of these apples?  So I set a limit. And you know what? He listened.

We enjoyed the day walking the farm with friends, picking some tomatoes too. We talked to the animals and soaked in the sunshine.

And at the end of the day we had a small, reasonable bag of apples. Many were eaten, a handful were baked and filled with ice cream. Some were made into candles. We weren't drowning in apples. It was simple and reasonable and a perfect way to welcome fall.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear September

Each day is full of sunshine, and lacking humidity. The days aren't too long or too short. The beaches are empty. The parks are quiet. The creeks and rivers are bustling as those who love the water try to get in as much time on the briny blue before the freeze sets in.  I look around and people seem quiet. Everyone seems to be staring into the sunshine, breathing deep, and saying thank you September.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

little museums

When Zach was 3 or 4 years old, we used to head to the museums all the time. He has the sort of temperament where he would just hold my hand, walk along anywhere, and soak it all in. I would always invite friends to come along and bring their little ones and I was often met with long stares and heavy sighs. Friends would say they dreaded bringing their little ones to museums because all they wanted to do was run and climb and yell and it was lost on them. I didn't get it back then.  Now I totally do.

Now I have that child. The one who I dread bringing to museums because she just wants to run and climb. But I still also have the child who loves going to museums and always bemoans, "Mom we never get to go anymore!"

We've ventured into DC to go to the Smithsonians a handful of times since Naia arrived. And truthfully, it's orchestrated chaos. Usually the excitement of the metro ride wears her down before we even get there.

It's crowded even mid-week. Everything is behind glass. And it's so spread out that little feet quickly tire out. It's an amazing resource, but not the idea place to spend the day with a 3 year old.

It's so easy just to gravitate to the big (free) Smithsonian museums so close by.  But lately I have been seeking out smaller museums. Smaller museums don't have the draw of being free, but they are almost always more little kid friendly. Finding places where the kids are allowed to touch, and feel, and interact makes all the difference.

The Anne Marie Sculpture Garden was the perfect little place for a kid friendly museum experience. This month there was a really fabulous exhibit on wool embroidery needle work made by common British sailors that made my big kid happy.

And there was plenty of hands on, colorful, not behind glass things for my little one to explore. Books to look through, recognizable things with a new life, bits to glue and paint, and outdoor space too. Even art you can climb on!

And suddenly it's not so terrible bringing them to the museum anymore.

Friday, September 05, 2014

slow summer no more

Our summer shifted from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. We went from long lazy days of fort building, pool time, kayaking, sailing, bubbles, dinghy rides, and sleeping in to a crazy but fabulous month of travel and camping and family. And now... well back to the grind. Regular homeschool classes start up again, outings, museums, festivals, all the happy buzz of busy kids.

But before giving in to the downhill slide into fall, I wanted to share just a few more slow summer moments. Berry picking, tea making, SUP'ing, flower picking, beach walking, wandering, and just hanging outside.

Thank you summer.
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