Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Dragonfly in the Hand

Yesterday we went on a short safari to a small lake a few blocks away. I am embarrassed that I have never explored this little area. I think I have been reluctant because I wasn't sure what kind of people would be hiding in the bushes, but it really is a sweet little pond in the middle of the city. It is a peat bog, one of the last in the area, and thus swampy and humid. We've had such a dry summer, though, that the trails were fine to walk, and we were able to walk the paths all the way around. There is a section that has some boardwalk over the lake, and we spent several minutes there, trying to find the frogs among the grasses, watching the ducks and dragonflies, and enjoying the sunshine.

My goal for the outing was to collect some pond water to take home and see what was in it (if anything), but the kids really weren't interested in that, so I nixed the idea. But the trip wasn't a waste, because we found a dead dragonfly in the middle of the trail, just before we got back to the car. We took the thing home, and today we spent some time drawing it.

The brilliant colors were already starting to fade, and it was pretty fragile, but I was surprised how long both the kids spent working on their illustrations. We also watched a video on YouTube about the dragonfly life cycle - it has some great footage. From there we watched other videos about different insects, all of them from the same producers.

Otherwise, we have been trying to figure out a schedule and routines for our new way of life. I am encountering some resistance from my free-spirited son, but I know he needs some structure and there are just some things (like math) a kid's gotta learn in life, whatever schooling method he chooses. I am praying he will relax into accepting my authority, and keep in mind that he has more freedom than some of his friends.

I do like how he chooses to spend his free time. He has been busy this week with a new book from Grandma and Papa, building paper airplanes and flying them.

He has also been building forts with Annika, reading books, and building with Lego and K'Nex. I hope I can relax some more and enjoy this time, and try to keep in mind what's important.

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