This week, I wonder if you can find an animal in your yard or community, that you can feed and/or observe?
It could be ducks in the pond of a local park you frequent.
When my family moved from Atlanta, GA to Raleigh, NC we knew noone and I wasn't in school yet, so my mom made feeding (and apparently running with) the ducks part of our daily routine. I was clearly elated and felt very connected.
We enjoyed it so much, this tradition continued when we moved to Nashville a year or two later where I fed other ducks at Centennial Park by the hotel we lived in until we found our house a few months later down the road.
Looking at this photo brings it all back and you know what??? I might just go feed some Cincinnati ducks- with or without my children!
Maybe it is the squirrels:
This is a normal day on our deck....and we LOVE it!
Okay, a little messy here, but they're clever little critters who get creative with what they eat. Autumn's pumpkins became winter's snack for this guy.
Watch their frenzied burying of nuts as they run helter-skelter to find just the right place to bury their treasure!
Or....do they end up eating them first because they are too tempting?
Can you watch to see where they finally choose to bury the nut?
This can be quite amusing at times! They are not always too sneaky…but they think they are.
Did you know that squirrels will pretend to bury a nut somewhere if they think another bird or animal is watching them? Many of these buried treasures grow into enormous treasures for all of us to enjoy- we call them trees. ;)
Maybe you are observing a Blue Jay.
Their excited announcement of the arrival of peanuts at the feeder always makes me laugh and is so predictable.
Another fun fact:
Blue Jays are responsible for “planting” many of the acorns that grow into oak trees. They prefer acorns, but only recover up to 40% of their cache, leaving the rest to grow into trees!
Allow the "adult" in you to take a back seat for a while.
May you look to your little one as a good guide.
They can easily remind you how to fully delight in this experience of bird or critter watching.
Notice how they fully immerse themselves in this observation and connection with the natural world around them, holding nothing back.
Can you jump in with both feet and join them?
THAT is what your child craves.
This is where the deep foundational bond forms that you both so want and need with one another.