If you’re just joining me for the Keeping It Real Challenge, please click here to find out what it’s all about.
On Saturday the kids and I sat in the living room for probably 20 minutes, watching two squirrels run back and forth, gathering and storing acorns. As we watched, we asked question after question:
- Where’s that one going?
- Are they working together?
- Where do they put them?
- Are those crows going to try to steal his acorns?
- Is that one chasing the other one away?
- Why are they getting acorns?
- Do they hibernate in winter?
- Do squirrels get married?
I answered the questions I could, Googled the answer to others, and told the kids, “I don’t know” to just as many others.
A little while later we went outside and the boys crawled around on the lawn, trying to find the spot they had seen one of the squirrels deposit its stash (they were unsuccessful).
While we were outside, Samuel noticed a bunch of caterpillars on our swing set. I cautioned him not to touch them since he once had a reaction to one he’d been playing with. We stood around staring at them, commenting on their colors, and trying to guess what kind they were. Another Google search came up empty and a picture I posted on Facebook with the question, “What kind of caterpillar is this?” got several replies of “An ugly one!”
We still haven’t gotten our answer, but I learned several lessons Saturday morning.
- Our kids are insatiably curious.
- If we tune in to that curiosity every once in a while, it rekindles our own.
- Sometimes the best thing we can do as parents is stop and look around. I easily could have gotten distracted cleaning up the kitchen and missed the opportunity to have real conversations with my kids, but this time I stopped and saw what they saw.
- It’s okay to not have all the answers. When I didn’t know the answer to one of their questions, I tried to find it. If I couldn’t find it, I honestly told them I didn’t know. They were fine with that. I think it’s good for our kids to learn that we don’t have all the answers.
- Slowing down and seeing things through the eyes of a child has an amazing way of increasing our faith. God designed those squirrels to know exactly what to do each fall to prepare themselves for winter. They don’t watch a weather report, read The Idiot’s Guide to Gathering Nuts, and spend weeks agonizing over whether they chose the right locations for their storage facilities. It can be easy to lose sight of God in our day to day grind, but taking a few moments just to notice the grandeur around us has an amazing way of reminding us of just how awesome the Creator is.
I encourage you this week to look for opportunities to slow down, even for two minutes, to enjoy something in nature. Look with fresh, child-like eyes. You won’t regret it.
And now the part of the post where I share pictures of our real, everyday life.
At first I thought Annelise had gotten the cover off the container of Butt Paste and had some fun. Upon closer inspection, I wondered if it was oatmeal. I guess it’ll remain a mystery. The important thing is, it’s gone now.
The boys kept fighting and hitting each other, so finally I said, “The next time it happens, you’re going to kneel down facing each other and hug until I tell you to stop.” They complained about doing it, but as soon as they did they were giggling away. It wasn’t a perfect plan though. Eli ended up on top of Samuel and it turned into a bit of a wrestling match. They were still smiling though, so I’ll call it a win.
Have a great week and remember to keep it real!