Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family Time

Sunday, after a long summer of perhaps too much time with the neighbor kids, Ella broke down when all they yelled her name in that way that kids do that expresses frustration and anger and daggers shooting out of their eyes.  She cried.  I don't blame her.  I wouldn't like people yelling my name like that either.

So I knew we needed to get out of the house a bit and just be with the kids before school started in two days.  I know - you're thinking I have spent most of my summer with the kids.  But I think "being at the house" with the kids is not the same as just "being" with them.  Does that make sense?  I find too many toys not put away or beds not made or breakfast dishes left out. 

It was a beautiful day.  Summer is on its way out, but is still hanging on.  So it was a good time to throw on the grungy tennies and head to the woods.

We went to Fernwood Botanical Gardens.  We love it there.  The walking path through the woods is just long enough that the kids only start complaining about it at the end.  And in the summer, they have a "train set" with fairy houses and local landmarks (like Notre Dame's Golden Dome!).  The kids love exploring it.

After much gnashing of teeth (Wren did not want to wear jeans as she is a skirt kind of girl and Ella only wanted to wear her brand spanking, sparkly white, new shoes), we set out.  And all the teeth-gnashing was worth it.

Wren took the lead on the path through the woods with John close behind her.  I hung back, mostly with Ella.  She slipped her hand in mine and sometimes we would walk in silence and sometimes she would point out interesting trees or leaves or other "nature" things.  Abby travelled between the two groups and kept to herself a bit.  But she's like that. 

Later, John told me that Wren kept saying, "Don't worry about them Dad.  They're okay." 

She was a hard pace-setter.  I even got warm trying to keep up.

And it was a beautiful afternoon with my family - as it always is when we go there.  Even the whining at the end ("PLEASE carry me, Mommy") was worth it.

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