In March I took the kids on a couple mile bike ride and then we paused at the celery bog on the kids request. This was at the beginning of the morning sickness when throwing up didn’t deter exercise, before I realized just how much it aggravated my situation. Once we arrived I quickly discovered that Nathan would be thrilled to stay in one place and observe the world. Emily, on the other hand, would rather run around and explore as much as possible.
When we arrived near the teepee they both settled down to the smaller area. Emily found that the little wooded area floor was covered in mushrooms. Emily looked at them for awhile, then cautiously touched them, then picked them up and explored all their parts. She then used them as mail, made food with them, and was generally enamored with these little fungi. When we went back to the celery bog a few weeks later she was devastated that no mushrooms were in sight.
Last Saturday I took the kids on a tiny walk around our neighborhood. While I held onto the stroller for support, Emily buzzed around on her balance bike. Near the end she hopped off and exclaimed, “Mom, a mushroom! Let’s look very closely at it.” Eventually she peaked underneath and found a stem, quickly picking it before we continued on. Well it turned out there were lots of mushrooms on our last stretch home. Emily collected every single one of them and put them in our stroller. She tried to share her joy of mushrooms with Nathan but he didn’t like having them close to him.
When we got back to the playground, Emily patiently taught Nathan how to go down the slide. She stood behind him and encouraged his climbing up the ladder, then ran around to the front to catch him. She did this a few times until he was confident enough to do it on his own. I listened to all of this while I laid on the grass with my eyes closed, trying to recover from overdoing it. A friend from church stopped by our complex and found me on the grass. She returned shortly with dinner for the whole family from Wendy’s, complete with a huge powerade for electrolytes.
Now Nathan’s favorite spot on the playground is the top super big slide. He climbs up the ladder, taking his time, and then sits at the top watching all of the activity on the ground.