I’ve been quietly and patiently excited for the time my baby son can finally appreciate the backyard experiences of chasing bugs, digging in the dirt, inspecting leaves, poking under plants, eating his first vegetable straight off the vine, and, hopefully, helping tend a small flock of chickens. At nearly eleven months, he’s getting there. Not quite walking, but standing and VERY mobile otherwise. But it’s very clear he LOVES the outdoors. From breezes to all the rustling sounds, from one bright color to the next, his little head is constantly back and forth with the excitement of it all. Give him a sprig of Italian parsley and he’ll jubilantly wave it around and tear it apart, pieces of it stuck to his chin. A stick becomes a valued keepsake, a wand, a baton.
This weekend, momma needed a nap, so daddy took him outside and stuck him in an apple crate near a vegetable bed newly top-dressed with compost. Within seconds he was standing, his little hands were digging like the paws of a puppy after a buried bone. All of this was accompanied by a happy string of wondrous chirping and ooo-ing. The cute nearly slew daddy. And even though he ingested an unknown quantity of compost, he seems to have made a full recovery.
I read something on an old acquaintance’s blog a bit ago: model what you want to see in your children. Yup. Check. Got it. With any luck, my son will be a rock-tossing, dirt-diggin’, plant-nerdin’ kind of guy. At least on my half of the model.