I'm currently out of coffee, so this was not one of my better mornings, parenting-wise.
I coaxed, I nagged, then finally bullied the kids into putting away their legos and eating breakfast. I rushed them to get dressed, and then crabbed at them as I zipped, snapped, and velcroed all the assorted winter gear. Finally, we spilled out into the backyard. The kids wandered in a daze, stomping on the chunks of snow, kicking frozen leaves.
I unlocked the car doors, barking, "Come on, guys, get in the car!" and L was standing next to the patch of ground where we started a little flower garden over the summer. "In the car!" I said again.
"But Mommy, I want to show you something!!" she pleaded.
"OK, honey, I'll look at it after you get in the car." I said, buckling J into the car seat.
"No, I want to look at it with you" she said quietly.
Huffy, I walked over to where she was standing.
"Look!" She said in a stage whisper. "The little purple flowers we planted are still there!" She was utterly delighted, thrilled that the flowers were still there, despite the recent snow and frosty mornings.
For children, these little discoveries in nature are so important, and they become even more special when shared with a caring adult. In our constant rushing around, it's easy to lose touch with that, to forget to notice and share the special discoveries our children are so good at finding. Or to dismiss them in favor of other more pressing things.
But allowing children (and ourselves!) the time to make these discoveries is such a gift. Being geninely interested in sharing those discoveries is the best way to honor a child's curiosity and wonder. We honor our children's relationships with nature when we value the discoveries they make. We honor our children's abilities to make discoveries, to notice things. To be curious.
I'm so grateful to my daughter for calling me back to what's important. I'm so glad she took the time to stop and notice, despite my rushing and griping. And I'm glad I took the time to share the discovery with her.
Even if it did make us late for school.