Sometimes I don’t know why I even bother bringing the blanket at all on our backyard excursions. It’s been months since Baby-tidian has stayed on it. Even when I sit him (yes! sitting!) in the dead center like a little bull’s eye, within moments he is at the edge. Then it’s all splashing in leaves and sprinkling dirt like cinnamon.

I love observing these earliest connections he is making with nature. Like so many other discoveries at this age, it’s setting the stage from which he will play for  a long time. In these moments I’m never quite sure what my role is. Do I crunch some leaves myself? Or do I try to fade into them? Perhaps nurture my own attachment to the leaves and dirt? Today as I tried fading into his background, I was summoned back by his excited calls of “ahoo” and vigorous tongue thrusting, which could only mean one thing: a discovery. The daffodil bulbs we planted in the fall have started pushing their way through the earth.

 We always return together to the quilt, dirty knees and all. Sometimes after such adventures he is content to lay back with me and watch the leaves move. Not often though. Today we brought out a stack of stories, some to read and others to taste. Oh yes, we love our books. I only hope that he continues to show such fondness for them, even after all his teeth are in.

What’s strange is that this whole escapade took less than 45 minutes from gathering the quilt and books to changing into clean kneed clothes. I’ve had to adjust my expectations of long idyllic afternoons spent quilt-side. Even more, I’ve had to learn to acknowledge the worth of these outings. Just because the time is measured in minutes rather than afternoons doesn’t mean the time is hollow. Even just moments outside can be enough to infuse much needed grounding and balance into my day. A quick nibble of fresh air nourishes just as much as an afternoon’s feast.

So while Baby-tidian discovers the sweet smell of dirt and the glorious crinkle of dry leaves, I am discovering that length of time has little bearing on the sweetness of these moments. The leaves crinkle just as well.


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Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 5 months ago at 11:09 am.


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2 Replies

  1. Kathleen Jan 21st 2012

    Ahhh….. such beauty and joy. I feel like I was there myself. Love, Aunt K

  2. Oh my goodness Jana! You paint such beautiful word pictures, I can close my eyes and see it all….even before all the pictures download! I’m jealous of your outings… it’s been a chilly “in the teens” lately. Today a warm spell…all the way up to 28!

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