Friday, April 22, 2016

A boy meets his shadow

Our Classical Conversations group is done for the year. Final papers are written, speeches have been presented, Memory Masters certificates have been earned. We are not done with school for the year, but the most intensive part of our day is done until next fall. Today was our first day since all of the end of year hoopla ended, so we all breathed a nice, calm sigh and had a relaxing day.

There's this two year old in our house who cheers at every baseball game and gets shuffled along to every homeschool group, show choir practice, baseball practice, and church meeting. He builds with blocks while mama teaches math, plays with playdough during writing, and draws during family read aloud time. He does it with a smile on his face and makes fans wherever he go, but he rarely has time to do whatever he wants to do on his little two year old timeline.

This morning he did.

He were outside throwing a football when he asked, "Mama, can we go for a mile walk?" With nothing on the agenda and no pressing school work to get done, I happily replied that we could. Carrying his little cow umbrella to block the sun, he walked to the end of our driveway. "Which way should we turn," I asked. He thought for a moment before replying, "mmmmm, prolly Grizzly Way." Since we get to Grizzly Way whether we turn left or right, I decided to just follow him.
swishy pants. check. plaid shorts. check. little brother t-shirt. check. cow umbrella. check. let's roll!

He wanted to cross the street so we looked both ways and crossed. Apparently our long driveway tired him out because he sat down in the grass on the other side of the road. "Should we sit here and have a snack," he inquired. "Maybe an apple?"
Yes. We took a break across the street from our home
Disappointed to hear that I hadn't brought an apple on our one mile walk break across the street from our house, he got up and decided he wanted to walk the opposite direction. We looked for cars again and crossed the street. He quickly tired of holding the unwieldy umbrella and asked if I would carry it. I happily obliged, not because I love hauling all of the kids' castaways, but because I couldn't find my sunglasses and it kept the sun out of my eyes.

We walked a bit more, with him crossing the street every time a dog came into sight so he could ask the owner for the chance to pet the puppy. I guess the sun began to bother his eyes because he started a question about the umbrella. "Mama, if that bright sun. . . WAIT. Is that me?"
a boy meets his shadow
My sweet boy just met his shadow. I told him to move around and see what the shadow did. "Dance, Asher," I instructed. He wiggled his arms and watched Mr. Shadow do the same. "Even the hairs move, mama." He was blown away. I watched him learn and observe and verbalize his new discovery and it was an absolute gift.
and dances with him

We finally continued on and I pointed out the melted snow running through the ditch. "No, mama. That's water," he replied. We talked about the fact that when snow melts it turns into water and goes down hills. We walked along the ditch and he shuffled into the snow to touch the cold, "freeeeezing" water about ten times.
He discovered that melting snow is not just cold, but freeeeeeeezing water
Then he found some pebbles and threw them into the snow to see if they would stay on top or sink into the rapidly melting snow. We found an icy spot with some melted water, a teeny tiny pond put there just for us, or so it seemed. We threw our little rocks into it to see where it would splash and sink and where it would stay on top of the ice. As we played in the ditch, the homeowner pulled up and stopped her Prius at the end of her driveway. She asked about what we were doing and what Asher had discovered. She smiled to see a little boy enjoying a lazy day of outdoor learning. I think she would have ruffled his too-long, blonde hair if she'd been close enough. She had that loving grandma look in her eyes.

We turned back toward home and hadn't been walking long when Asher uttered, "A mile walk is long, mama." I asked if he wanted a piggy back ride and he most certainly did. We walked. I kept reminding him to hold onto my neck. He kept asking why. I kept telling him that I was holding a 34 pound toddler and an umbrella while I walked up a hill in Danskos so I needed a little help. Well, I said that in toddler-speak. He'd hold on for a while, then point to the bird or the water or the rocks.

We returned home from our mile walk. Technically it was less than a mile, but don't tell Asher because that was his "mile walk."  A lot can happen in a (almost) mile. Memories. Learning. Love. Lots and lots of love.

I sure do appreciate the leisurely pace of a two year old boy on a brilliant spring day.