Life Tip…Don’t go bird watching with 8 year olds!
I know, this is not very all nature-all parenting friendly of me. But it is the truth. Cause an 8 year old boy is as restless as a puppy on a fresh day, and also more interested in smashing dead weeds with sticks, than he is in peering up at the treetops trying to spot some flitting splash of colour. And then you will just feel like smashing dead weeds with other dead weeds too. Cause dead weed smashing is noisy business! Not conducive to capturing birds on film. Or relaxing. Because only the squirrels like the noises you make in the woods when you are busy going about the business of smash and crash! And why wouldn’t you, being an energetic, occasionally free range, 8 year old boy. I remember when I was about 10, my favourite thing to do in the woods was push down dead trees! And what is the point of creating frustration in 2 people, when one is happy enough destroying dead golden rod? So I understand. And I don’t want to walk in the woods alone. So, happy smash and crash it is. (Time to find some fellow bird watchers to walk with perhaps?!)
Besides, there are other things to capture, things that don’t move. And other ways to make memories together. Like tossing chestnut casings into the woods. Or having fun with puddles. There is colour and life all around, and some of it won’t flit away from you and your free spirited, if smashy, child.
And it is ok. He wants to hear the woodpecker, but he isn’t bothered if he doesn’t see it. So let it go. Teach him how to load milk pods onto sticks for some really good flinging action! Look around, not just up. Life is happening all around, and some of it is peaceful enough for the both of you. There is stillness all around you, even if you aren’t feeling that way. It is there. Going on all calm and beautiful, beside and in spite of you.
Truth. It is important to get outdoors; fresh air, exercise, energy burning, companionship, memory making, all that. But it is more important to do it in ways that work for all. Let go of expectation and you will have more fun – this is what I relearned yesterday.