Sunday, June 17, 2012

on simple pleasures

We are done with school, in case anyone is still wondering. 6 yo still didn't finish Lama, and 8 yo still didn't finish Vayeira, but for now, I am letting it be.

Today was the day of simple things which brought a lot of enjoyment. It started with 8 yo rallying for Krispy Kreme. I agreed, on the condition that everyone showers first and he davens. He complied. I don't know what it is about that place that is so motivational-- the sugar for breakfast? the hats? watching the doughnuts being made? --but whatever it is, it surely ranks high on the kids' list of pleasant things to do.

Around noon, we went to the nature center. Our membership expires soon, but I am planning on continuing. 6 yo decided that for his Nature Exchange item, a potter's wasp nest, he will write a report. Granted, his report was one sentence, but it is hard for me to get him to write that one sentence otherwise. He also has to present his items for trade, so he is forced to talk about them, and not just retreat into "I don't know" shell. As soon as the trade was complete, we went outside. We saw some birds of prey and then 6 yo asked to go to the dock. Over there, the boys sat by the water, watching sea weed, tiny fish and turtles. The boys floated magnolia leaves. They used sticks to measure how deep the pond is. They stayed perfectly quiet so the turtles would come closer. 8 yo spotted larger fish on the bottom. I asked whether they are ready to move on, but they were perfectly happy just laying on that dock, staring in the water and talking quietly.

We hiked a trail, climbed over a fallen tree, spotted lots of mushrooms, saw a water snake in another pond. The boys made walking sticks and 2 yo copied. They tested out every rotten log to see whether it will fall apart when struck.

After that, we went over to my in-laws. 6 yo immediately bonded with the cat. (He has something about connecting with animals that my other kids do not. He is not afraid, but he also knows just how to pat them right.) Then they went upstairs to play. 8 yo set up his idea of Risk. Eventually both boys asked for Tom and Jerry. They saw that cartoon a million times by now, but, for some reason, they still laugh every single time.

All the activities were free today, except for the doughnuts. None of these things were particularly educational or extravagant, but each of them was enjoyable on a simple level. I find myself sometimes chasing that "experience of a lifetime" when life simply presents these delightful opportunities.

Another simple pleasure: running with balloons trailing behind.

2 yo is mastering walking on the curb.
While the accomplishment is not great, the satisfaction is high.

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