Yesterday, I was scrolling through my photos trying to figure out a system to help me do a better job of printing photos and putting them in family photo albums. I’m about a year behind. Yikes! Who else can relate? As I was scrolling, I started to notice a theme when I came across photos of my daughter.
Sticks, sticks, and more … you guessed it … sticks.
My gal pal loves to play in the dirt, draw photos in the sand, run barefoot in the grass, help with gardening, find leaves, and discover sticks. And, when she finds the perfect stick, she picks it up and carries it everywhere. There are times when I catch her, the two-year-old that she is, carrying around logs and branches until I advise her to find a smaller stick instead. I’ve never known anyone who was on such a quest to find the perfect stick and cherish it.
When we play in the cul-de-sac or at the ballpark when her brother has a t-ball game, I hardly ever have to take out the toys. Instead, I keep an eye on her while she walks around trying to find the perfect stick. Usually, she’ll take one in each hand and walk around with them as she plays.
One of the things I love most about her is her love for nature. Ever since she was a baby, if ever she was fussy, we went outside and her mood immediately changed. To this day, we could be having so much fun inside and I’ll say, “Let’s go outside” and she goes running to the door. This girl is definitely one with nature and is all about getting dirty. If she’s not finding a stick, then she’s finding a dirt pile. When it’s ready to head indoors, she comes inside and is covered in dirt and sweat with a big smile on her face.
As a parent of two, I’ve come to realize that kiddos certainly teach you to appreciate the little things in life. My son’s excitement for life and all of its tiny treasures is contagious. It doesn’t take much to excite him since he’s one happy little man. He shouts about airplanes, chases butterflies, fills his pockets with acorns to later use as imaginary race cars, and moves at a million miles an hour at all times of the day.
My daughter, always looking up to her older brother, is not far behind. She’s always trying to keep up with him in her own sassy little way. She’s a girl who knows what she wants and when she wants it. She keeps us on our toes, voices her opinion (even though we can’t understand what she’s saying just yet), loves to challenge us, moves almost as quickly as her brother, makes our days full of laughter, and has daily quests to find the perfect stick.
Yes, my kids have their moments. One minute they are loving each other, the next minute they are yelling at each other. One minute they are playing nicely, the next minute they are stealing toys from each other. One minute they are running around together, the next minute they are running away from each other.
Parenting can be one heck of a ride as you try to raise intelligent, kind, confident, and brave children. It’s always amazing to me how kids from the same parents can be so different. And, it’s even more amazing how one child can look like one parent but act like the other and vice versa. But, when it comes to my kiddos, even though they have their differences, they are similar in their love for nature. And I will happily join them on their quest to find the most acorns, the best dirt piles, and the perfect sticks.