Last Saturday after all the errands and appointments were done and the kids were begging for an outing, 13 yo G found online the Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, NY and said “Please, Mom, let’s go.” I was eyeing the clock, we only had a couple of hours before dusk and what about cooking dinner? “It’s NATURE,” G pleaded. OK, I said, thinking about the fresh air, exercise, and opportunity for learning and feeling like a better parent already.
“Where are our binoculars?” I asked, going into the closet to look – perhaps we could birdwatch. Not that I know anything about birds. But we probably had a guide to birds, or trees, or something educational and relevant somewhere in the house we could bring…
“I have binoculars!” 8 yo R said, clambering upstairs.
“Noooo,” G moaned. “R, yours aren’t even real! They don’t make anything bigger! Please, let’s not waste time, the sun is going down!”
R stomped downstairs wearing her yellow plastic binoculars saying “I KNOW they’re not real. But THEY’RE FUN.”
I gave up looking for real binoculars. G was right. It’d been a long and hectic week. No one needed Mom lecturing on nature.
At the Sanctuary, we walked through the woods and saw birds we did not recognize and other animals we did (“Doe, a deer!” Squirrels and chipmunks, too). We walked by the water, and through a grassy field. We walked while R ran, carefree.
You know, the weeks are for working, studying, activities and obligations. But late afternoon on a Saturday, it’s time to strap on your pony backpack, put on your purple boots, green hat, and fun-seeking yellow binoculars, and just go.
Happy weekend, everyone!