Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Would you like some sugar with your tea, R2?

Kitkat was invited to the picnic, but surprisingly, Hershey shows up instead.  He's got a major sweet tooth and a hankering for some delicious chai tea.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Going nuts, R2?

"Oh, why, yes, please join us.  Help yourself to some pecans, you friendly diurnal earth creature from the Sciuridae rodent family.  Isn't it a splendid day for an outdoor feast?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wild melons

It's a tradition in our family to do a "Day Before School Starts" hike.  The idea is to step into nature, get out some pent up anxiety, get dirty, calm down, reflect, smile, and be together.  For two years now, it's been just that.  We hike at the same spot and then go home feeling centered and ready for the first school day.  Do you see that pretty blog banner of mine?  Yep, taken the day before kindergarten.  That picture means so much to me.  It was an emotional day in many many ways.

So, ya, today - it's the day before second grade and I totally (foolishly) want that special Hallmark moment.  The "aww soooo sweet" image as  a reminder that it's all worth it.  It's been thirteen summer break weeks of family bonding, fun in the sun, freedom, laziness, sleepovers, explorations, play, and togetherness.  I'm leaving out all of the other, umm, more challenging details.  Why?  Because, well, I have two seven-year-olds and I'm trying to keep it all in perspective.

Did I say two boisterous seven-year-olds full of waaaaaaay too much grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr?!

What I get on today's hike is pushing, tongues sticking out at each other, running around in every which direction, straw throwing, stick poking - your basic discombobulated totally out of sorts anything but peaceful mischief.  I can't get them to touch each other in a nice and decent way to save my life.  Are these really my children?

Literally, different directions, same hike...
He's about to do something annoying...

 Straw fight...
Am I irritated because I want to recreate this fantastic sweet emotional shot just like two years ago that would make for a beautiful memory, only to have them mock the very thought?  I am, but, they are obviously having fun and being free and letting go and being who they are at this very moment.  It may not be the way I want them to be, but, well, ultimately, so what?!  They could care less if I get my perfect picture for my blog post.  And, once I let go (give up in total exasperation) of that silly expectation, I notice so many other neat things all around us.

Check out this wild squash or watermelon (???) plant growing along the hiking path...
Or the green stuff along the creek...
These flowers were in different stages of bloom and color and drying out all around us...
Our favorite owl nest under the bridge is still there...can you see it way up there?
And this tree full of these cherry-like looking berries - what in the heck is it?
When no one was around, we even have a let's scream and let out all of our pent up grrrrrr feelings (for them it's the first day of school anxiety, for me it's omg I love my children but thank goodness I survived the very long summer hallelujah school is tomorrow and I get my "me" time back) moment just like in the movie Garden State (just substitute me and two very seven-year-old crazy kids leaning and screaming over the creek).  Yes, I scream, too, and it feels damn good let me tell you...
When all is said (and screamed) and done, I love our traditional hike at our favorite local hiking spot.  Maybe the lesson is that every year the hike will be different, just like my ever-changing children, and that's truly something to look forward to and relish and embrace.  They are growing up so fast!

Thankfully, I finally get a simi-decent shot of them actually calmly walking together.  No poking.  No teasing.  No running.  No grrrrrr.  It's simply my two wonderful children, obviously more separate than ever now, being their individual sweet sibling selves, just talking together side-by-side, ready to start a new school year together while blazing their own important trails.