PhotoThat, Dear Reader, is just amazing! Amazing! But to protect it from The Notorious Groundhog (I’m going to come up with a cool, yet nefarious name for him), we’re going to have to take extraordinary efforts. Namely, The Husband is gonna have to make another Triangular Pyramid of Protection in order to keep him out. Because if the groundhog gets to my strawberries before I do, some hell is gonna be raised. For reals.

 

I must start this post with a story. A boy story.

You see, I was being a good girl and helping my elderly neighbor with her groceries. This is what you do when you have an elderly neighbor. My two boys had exchanged their pleasantries with our neighbor and then had gone off to, first, climb all over her glorious Japanese maple like they were heathens and then, second, disappear in her back yard. It was my fault for shooing them off the tree. Why did I shoo them off of the tree? When I finally said my goodbye and looked up the hill to see my grill smoking ominously, I shouted for the boys to rejoining me in our yard. They came coming without my having to ask twice, which pleased me. First came Major, then came Minor.

Minor had something in his hand.

Grass?

No…wrong color.

A stick?

It’s got too many things pointing from it to be a stick. Lest it came from a bush… are those leaves?

Leaves aren’t gray… or furry… is that fur?

Is that gray fur?

Why does that look like so much like a squirrel?

Does he have a squirrel in his hand!?  

No… there isn’t enough mass in his hand. It looks like just the tail.

Oh my God, where did you get that? Where did you get that squirrel tail!?” 

Minor stopped in his tracks, looked down at his hand. “It isn’t a tail. It’s a furry stick!”

Major: “We found it! It’s a new kind of stick we invented!”

Put that down! Don’t touch anything! Everybody needs to wash their hands!

I swear… I just…  Boys… why did the Lord think I could handle boys?

I’ll tell you what, those two little boys really gave me a run for my money today, this first official day of Camp Mama. The Husband went back to work after 2 weeks away and I woke up to a new kind of week. A schoolless week. UnstructuredUnplanned. It is terrifying. We managed with a trip to the park and the library, plenty of time out in the yard, and a good amount of time watering the garden.

Now, I’ve gotta send a shout out to my wonderful confirmand and her mom, who came and maintained all the flowers and veggies for us while we were gone. The Husband inspected when we returned and reported that nothing died, which is pretty amazing. When the boys came out today, we were surprised to find the strawberries and one other surprise:

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Baby peas!

The only thing more exciting than experiencing the joy of discovering changes in the garden is watching the boys lose their minds over such seemingly little things like new budding flowers and newly emerging pea pods. Minor was the one to find the strawberries and it might as well have been Christmas. He screamed with joy and Major came running right away to see what he was pointing at. They jumped and danced and skipped around the bed, and it was in this jubilation that they found the baby peas! Suddenly they needed to inspect all the plants to see what’s new. Why is this leaf this way and not that way? Why do flowers turn into strawberries and peas? Can we eat this? What happens if we pull on that?

Camp Mama’s Science curriculum is gonna be on point this year. 🙂

I must say that I’m getting a lot out of it, too. While I’m worried about our water bill (Lord, why didn’t we invest in the rain barrels?), I can’t help but see the joy in the new leaves and budding flowers. I find myself eagerly anticipating the next stage, wondering what delightful new aspect of life with emerge. It’s deceptively simple looking, but you know it’s complex and seemingly uncontrollable. Actually, that’s the best part about it: I have absolutely no idea how any of this is working. It’s all just one (potentially) delicious, wonderful miracle.

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Remember the Clivia that my uncle brought up from Baltimore two summers ago? Well, if everything keeps going ok, looks like it’s gonna bloom too!

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As much as we’re all delighting in this, I’m going to have to expand on some of the activities around here. Camp Mama was such an abstract annoyance just a few weeks ago and now it’s here! I reminded myself twice today that this summer will only be miserable if I let it become so. Gotta set expectations, communicate effectively, keep things moving and keep it positive. Science is on lock… maybe tomorrow we’ll work on some literacy? Maybe I should find some activities that help them with their fine motor skills…

Seriously, though: any ideas on how to keep things flexible but also keep the boys intellectually stimulated? Any homeschooling and/or Montessori/Sudbury mamas out there with ideas/links?  I’d be grateful!

Happy Summer, Dear Reader. I hope that you are celebrating with something sparkling and refreshing. I hope that the weather is warm, but not oppressive (Thinking of you, Desert Dwelling reader! Stay safe out there!). Just because the weather is nice doesn’t mean that we get to slack on reaching our goals. I’m here working right next to you! One week at a time, let’s make this summer a great one.

See you Wednesday.

PS. I grilled corn and chicken and asparegus today. I’ve been slacking on the Meatless Monday! Ya’ll have to hold me accountable! Gonna get back on the horse, I promise!

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