My boy had been wanting to go down to the river and find some great animal tracks to cast. He learned how to make print casts in a class he is taking once a week this summer. Friday proved to be too busy so a date was made for Saturday morning.
After breakfast we set out, just the two of us, for the river.
We hunted the mud along the rivers edge for just the right tracks.
Along the way he proudly showed me some of the things he is learning about in his class. Where the skunk family lives (very good to know), how to dig up an ant lion and watch it rebury itself (I had never seen one in real life before) and various other things. He was happy to be the teacher and took to the role very well.
We spotted wildlife and they spotted us. We watched respectfully as the heron watched the goose family parade by, the family of squirrels darted around the rocks with the whip tail lizard joining them and the sweet duck coming close to investigate us in return.
We were on and off the main trail, heading down to the river each time we spotted mud with potential for good tracks. We moved through brush and past trees talking about the newly forming Russian olives taking shape, how animals use feathers they find to make nests, what creature could have laid the amazing tiny eggs in the twig, and how swollen the river now was with the coming of the thundershowers.
Finally, in our last attempt to find great tracks before heading home we found just the right ones: a deep deer impression, what he thought was a baby raccoon scratching the dirt, and one of a more domestic nature, probably dog.
We set up our collars around the tracks, mixed our plaster and poured. Then there was the waiting. We talked a lot; about the nature around us, about his class, about Lego and the games he was making up. We played a stick battle with my invading forces from the river being swiftly defeated by his defending army. We crouched down under low tree branches to explore the surrounding areas, my knees got muddy keeping up. He was happy to be the lead scout.
It was so very good to have this time with him. He is so thoughtful, cleaver, witty and inquisitive. We rarely get this one-on-one time together but it is so necessary.
This time had me thinking of ways to get more of this quite, special time with each of the kiddos. Without family and a fledgling friend support network it is hard.
Do you manage to get one-on-one time with each of your kids?
How do you do it?
p.s. I will share our track casts later this week!