some of you may recall how characters in the world of winnie-the-pooh went on an Explore - that's what we call it, too. ander puts on his backpack, grabs "hopkins" the stuffed frog, and heads out the door to "explore my great backyard!" (for those who are familiar with the video about the great outdoors, you'll know the song involving tents, trails, streams, woods, and mountains.)
he likes to be first, to lead the way. diana and i are usually ok with that. it's his thing, after all, and we have no trouble catching his enthusiasm. we tromp down behind our house, climb over the rocks in the currently-dry stream bed, and walk on the trail. one way takes us to the nearby shopping center with our favorite grocery store and frozen yogurt place, the other leads off in directions unknown. (well, unknown to me and ander - steve and diana have thoroughly walked those trails when they had their mornings walks together.)
we went on an explore one afternoon when our friend taryn was over to play. everyone carried a bag to collect Leaves and Things. within every few steps one of the kids would pounce on a new item with an exclamation of delight, calling out for everyone to come and see the newest treasure.
|some smell flowers; he smells leaves, too.|
|checking to see if sister is marching along properly|
|pondering where next to go|
|off-path areas hold the best rocket and digging sticks|
|perfect fodder for story stones|
on another occasion, diana opted to stay at home to do her homework, so ander, hopkins, and i took a different direction along the path. we met a nice woman with her little dog, kiwi, who pointed out a deer to us. we saw two, both bucks, i think, because of the antlers (female deer don't have them, except for reindeer, right?) according to her, the deer would be out and about a lot this month, so we're excited to find others.
we'll be going camping soon, our first time on the east coast. the kids are so excited they can hardly stand the wait. it's going to be chock full of Explores for ander and whomever he invites along.