Sunday, September 8, 2013

Caterpillars, Toads, and Ducks

The end of Summer is typically really hard for me, as I know we here in upstate NY are headed for the cold dark days of Winter. I think I actually mourn the lack of sun. However, with the preparation I have been doing to begin homeschooling the Tiny Human, I have been filled with enthusiasm and have almost failed to see the days growing shorter. Not to mention we have been using every hour of day light, since I have a very busy toddler.

 Even though, Samuel will only be two in October, I have decided to embrace a Montessori type approach to education, so we are beginning a very relaxed but purposeful exploration of the world around us to develop a love for learning and early reading and writing skills. For Sammy at this age, all of his learning takes place through hands on experience, so we will be getting dirty a lot during the Autumn. Deuteronomy 6:7 "Teach your children diligently. Talk to them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when your rise up."

My love of learning began with my mother saying, "It is not how much you know that is important, but whether or not you know how to find out the answers to what you do not know." This is one of my great desires for my son, that he will love to learn and study, especially the Bible, to find answers to his questions. This is why I am digging into the book of Exodus and digesting it bit by bit for what seems like the millionth time. Matthew 7:7 "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

Summer came to a close with a splash, literally. Sammy jumped off a diving board the last Sunday on August, following a baptism service.

He has been able to hold his breath under water for a while now and has recently started to try and swim under water on his own. But his lack of swimming skills could not deter him from the temptation of springing off of the diving board, like the big kids, into my arms. And the thrill of that brief moment when you feel like you are flying was enough to keep him splashing until my arms were heavy and I was too tired to tread water beneath the diving board anymore.

Our garden, I believe, has also given us our final harvest before the snow flies. Gardening has been a good lesson in perseverance for me. Between flooding and the snail plague we encountered, I was tempted more than once to give up, but in the end, all of the healthy produce has been well worth the frustration.

In the same way, Galatians 6:9 reminds us, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." 

I work in a high burn out position, with mentally ill patients who are in Crisis. It can become exhausting. However, I try to remember that my labor is not in vain, and that showing my patients love and dignity is showing them Jesus and I pray that some day they will produce fruit.

This week with the start of school, we are studying the letter A and apples, as well as the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. What this means more simply is that my dining room table is covered in bug jars that my son watches at breakfast lunch and dinner and lays hands on when we hold hand and pray for meals...which I find hilarious.

It also means we have a conversation about gentleness several time each day, so that my son does not squash the poor critters with his chubby little fingers. We have been collecting different caterpillars all week, one we know will turn into a Monarch, and the rest we will have to wait and see.

Hunting for caterpillars on nature walks, while feed giant fish, and picking up every bird feather we see has been a real joy.  Not to mention crawling under low pine trees and running through wide open fields.

Studying the letter A and apples has been a lot of fun too. In addition to picking apples off our back yard trees and eating them on the spot, we have taken them to riding lessons to feed the horses, and we spent a day at the Cider Mill, which included apple fun, duck feeding, and miniature tractor riding.

 Oh and the close of our week, perhaps my son's greatest joy was finding and holding a toad in our friend's yard. Little boys are a wonderful blessing. And God continues to show me more of himself through my son every day.

No comments:

Post a Comment