Sunday, May 4, 2008

Back Yard

We spent the whole afternoon today in the back yard. The sun was out and the temperature was in the low 60's - it was a wonderful day. After a few days of rain, everything is very green and growing like crazy.

Eli picked a dandelion for me, which I promptly put behind my ear. Then, of course, he needed one behind his ear as well. Jeff was gone fishing, so we did some self portraits.

When Jeff came home, he pulled the hose out to clean off his waders. Out jumped the little tree frog that's been living around our deck this spring. Jeff presented him to Eli, who continued to "tickle" the frog, causing it to jump all over the place. This was a little scary and a little bit funny at the same time.

We played some baseball and Jeff rounded out the evening giving Eli his first casting lesson. We're working on getting a shade tree for the back yard to that it's a bearable place to play this summer, but today, the back yard was a wonderful playground.

I've been reading a book by Richard Louv called, "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder." I've been extremely anxious about what our kids (that's plural for the some-day side of things - it's NOT a hint that we have more than one in any way) will miss as they grow up in the city. I'm terrified that I'm contributing to some deep deprivation in my child by not raising him somewhere that he can run in the woods and play in the yard by himself for hours on end. But today I realized that there's plenty of nature for Eli to explore even in our back yard. And there's the meadow behind Jeff's parents house and the farm land there as well. And the lake and the woods at my parents house, both of which are only an hour's drive away. I'm so glad that Eli wants to learn the difference between weeds and the peas we planted so that he can help tend the garden. I'm grateful that he wants to hold the tree frog in his hand, but that he also wants to put it back home in the rocks by the deck after a few minutes as well. I'm glad that he would rather eat broccoli than my home made cookies any day and that no Disney movie is nearly as cool as the back yard or "My Grampa house Yake!" (Translated - Grandpa's house at the lake where I can throw rocks in the water as much as I want!)

Jeff and I love to be outdoors. We love to see how nature reacts to us, but even more, we love to leave nature with as little of us to react to as possible after we leave. Eli will do the same, I'm sure. He is our son.

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