The boys turn eight this month and I keep having these moments where I see them and they look old. They look like proper big kids suddenly. They say things that make sense on a regular basis – and not just make sense to me, but make sense to the world at large. They can count their own money. They read proper books. They write clever stories. They come in my room in the morning and instead of whispering that they need to me to come fix something, they whisper that they’re going to the playground before school starts. And that school is technically third grade. Third grade!
I know they’re really still little. But this time of the year just before the birthday, I always have a stretch where I feel like their growth has sneaked up on me.
I know I have a better day if I start by moving around, especially with the kids. It’s just so hard sometimes. Plus we have so many days when we need to be somewhere before ten o’clock. If we’re going to get in any school, going out for a hike seems impossible.
That’s the Husband out with us. He may have a weird schedule, but sometimes it has its benefits.
Well, the first one wasn’t really that long of a hike. Plus, it was followed by a boat ride in the C&O Canal (By the way, the C&O Canal gets no children’s book love. I found multiple titles about the Erie Canal but nothing about our own beloved canal. Just because it’s made of cement and has a song about it! Well, the C&O has more locks and a really long tunnel, so there!). But the point is that we spent the vast majority of the last two days outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, it was excellent! But I’m completely beat. I think I will now curl up with the computer and remind myself why I’m a city girl now.
The first hike was with our co-op group. We have very loose themes and this was a field trip for water. Where better to think about water than a place where it has cut through rock and displays its awesome might on a daily basis? Plus, with the canal that was built to bypass these impassable straits, we get to talk about how people use water and the economic importance of water. Well, at least, we tried to anyway. Mostly, we were just hanging out with the water in all its forms and climbing on the rocks.
The second hike, with our second co-op, was much longer. We walked nearly four miles today from the forest to the bay. We also saw a lot of water on this trip: the streams that fed into the wetlands that fed into the bay, which feeds into the ocean. However, this group has been studying dinosaurs, so this was actually a fossil hunt on the beach. There are a number of spots on the Chesapeake Bay where fossils wash up regularly. The kids didn’t find anything of note, but I snagged a bit of some extinct sting ray plate for each them.
Inevitably, at the ocean, some kid will find a beautifully polished rock, which reminds me of the e.e. cummings poem “maggie and milly and molly and may.” Just a few weeks ago, at homeschool book group, we were discussing the merits of memorizing poetry. This is one I learned by heart as a kid (for fun – what a dork I was!). Here it is, just because: