One of my favorite things is just being outside with these guys.
I always, always wanted a lush and livable yard that would be an extension of our home environment out into the neighborhood and community. And it has begun to turn out that way, happily. It is so wonderful to be able to invite children from church or the neighborhood over to play, let them plant something while here--and then they come back and see how it's grown!
A garden is a powerful learning environment, and of course playtime out on the grass is simply the best anyway. Especially in a teepee.
I tried to catch a picture of Robin reading to his brother, but they have radar and make faces almost as soon as they see me coming. I didn't want to break up a good reading time, so I just waited until they were through...
and started their multi-grain Cheerio snack. In DH's new seed spreader the O's look like donut seeds.
Hey--if they invent it, I'll plant it!
Just being bros...
Life with these guys is simply the best. I encourage everyone to take a few moments whenever they can, and try to remember childhood's pure delight as they truly observe their kids and get involved.
One of my favorite recent quotes is "No other word transcends that of righteous, intentional parenthood." With this in mind I am making an even more conscious effort to lay aside the many projects and chores always waiting and instead focus on my children, not just getting their environment just right.
The environment may turn out 'exactly right' only after they are grown and gone. We don't have time to put off talking with and being with our kids. Not over-the-shoulder conversations. Not between phone calls or while in the middle of something else distracting us. They need us, intentional parents. They learn their habits and play from watching us. And why can't we pause our hectic schedules to become more childlike along with them for awhile? All it takes is a moment, and we've taught them we can still appreciate things their way, from their perspective.
There's nothing wrong with letting dandelions stay magical wish-flowers for a little longer. Who dictated that weeds were more important than wonder, anyway? They bring stubby-stemmed handfuls of those big yellow blooms and smile with pure happiness:
"Look, a flower for you, Mommy! And one for Daddy and one for..."
...Can we forget being adults spreading our grass seed for awhile, and join the magic with them?
Dandelions will stay; you can fight them and feel satisfied with victory another day. But childhood will drift away, along with its purity and sheer delight in simple beauties. Let the rest be for awhile, and instead--
Be where you are when you're there.
Be with them.
Be amazed at the beauty of a weed all over again.