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Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

My Birthday Card

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It was 3/20…known more importantly as the First Day of Spring…

The very best part of this was seeing my husband’s face after he took them off to make this…many hours later. He looked like he’d been hit by a bus–the background story of this clever montage of loving, happy children involved a lot of crying, running away, refusals to participate, collapsing on the ground, and general crankiness. (And that was just the dad–imagine how the children were behaving. Ha, ha.) But out of all of that uncooperative nastiness… Who would have guessed? (Oh, yeah, basically anyone with a small child in her or his life.)

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That’s what he calls himself when he does this.

Minutes passed as he ever so slowly crept closer to a group of deer.  One remained, and they just stared at each other.

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Nature is so different to me now with him around.

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Martin, from the beginning, has been fascinated by creatures. Sea and land, wiggly and slimy.

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I wasn’t sure how much of nature he was ready for though, and when. Lions chasing down a baby elephant on a nature show? A snake grabbing and swallowing a frog? Is that violence and death that a child should be much older to see and understand, or is it nature and his world?

I didn’t need to wonder–Martin lets me know. If I startle at a, to me, somewhat gruesome image in the nature books he likes, Martin explains, yet again, always patiently, “That’s just the way nature works, Mom.” I wasn’t sure if he was just repeating a line from one of his favorite creature-adventurers, or if he really got it. I think he gets it. Yesterday, he elaborated on the death theme: “Mom, all creatures have to die someday. Even people die. You, me, Dad, Chris, Grammy, Gramps . . .” After he listed most of our family, I asked him, “But what will happen when we die?” I thought he’d guess that we woke up the next morning . . . but he paused and replied, “Well, then we become carcasses for vultures.”

Yikes. But his point was made. Death is just the way nature works.

My other worry was that the chasing and killing and fighting that is a part of the natural world would result in more aggressive behavior. Wrong again. Martin will catch grasshoppers and frogs, name them (usually “Dengy”), call them “toad-friend” or “grasshopper-friend,” give them water and grass. Then he tells me, “I am going to put my toad-friend back in his natural habitat.” And then, so gently, and with soft words of encouragement, he does.

(Reading this great post in My Fairbanks Life about childhood wisdom regarding nature and life cycles got me thinking about this subject…)

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