You may have heard this in a different way, but here’s how it was explained to me this morning. We went out on the beach for a winter picnic. Yes, you CAN actually have a picnic still, despite the December chills. It was a little gray out there, but the air and the sound of the waves beat any grimness…Took all the goodies, and entertainment for little feet, so we’re not running into any “galloping around and screaming my lungs out while chasing seagulls is not enough” issues, and off we went.
As we drew closer to the beach, little feet kept describing the wildlife, as seen through the window. Each interjection preceded by “did you see that?” and and excited jerk in my seat… A lot of deep breaths were needed to keep me from pulling over and strapping the enemy to the back seat so tight that no limbs would even dream to reach me. “No; not really, what was it?” I blurted constantly… Of course, the educational goal was to get the complete answer out and stimulate the little mind to express itself in many words, and in the same time, to keep all of us safely on the road, all while avoiding the dull moments for the child. The descriptions never failed to come. One more colorful than other. ‘…with red feet…aww, they are so small and cute, and they are fire red! did you see that?”
“..and that cow has a stork…did you see that?…why are storks friends with cows?…” That, I wouldn’t have an answer for even if tried..beats me why a stork was hanging out with the cow, but we’ve seen them together most times we went to the beach, so it was “one of those things” that I was not going to put my mind to today…
As I entered the beach, trying to find wet sand so I don’t get stuck when we leave, I felt the little hands grabbing my face and turning my head. I tried to hit the breaks as slowly as I could, as sudden breaks on soft sand don’t go too good with the above mentioned parking philosophy…and turned to little feet. The explanation was ambiguous, but the excitement was genuine, so I swallowed my words and took a deep breath. “Look, look! Your stork!..you didn’t see that either..and it was going to fly away, and you would have missed this one, too! You need to eat more carrots!”
My eyes flew open, and most likely the confusion was showing in my expression. “what do you mean?” “carrots are good for your eyes, you know; they help you see better!” True, or false. But good enough explanation for me. “and they’re good for your memory, too!”
That just so didn’t ring any bells. “Now, how is that?” The innocence looked at me through those fearless eyes, and by the serious look on the little face, it was gonna be a good one!…I choked back a giggle. “well, if you can see better, you can really see all the details, so next time I tell you about it, you’ll remember, and not ask me to tell you the same thing over and over…that’s annoying, you know!”… All those six years felt like a lot right there… Did I raise that? No way; I cannot assume the merit for this kind of logic. Maybe it’s genetic…and I just got skipped a generation so that’s why it’s so fresh…Whatever it was, the giggle came out, and the little face blossomed with pride.
I grabbed my camera and “really saw the details”. Here they are, just in case you’re by the ocean one day, driving. It’ll jog your memory, and it’ll also help you to know what in the world they’re talking about…not that you’ll ever master that, but here’s a little help from a friend!