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Arboretum Pond with Turtles!

August 19, 2008

Yesterday’s visit to the local university arboretum made me feel good about my potential as a mom, even as a homeschooling mom. I didn’t do everything right on the first try, but if I’d be more careful about organizing I think I could take my children on outings like this with great success. I kept having thoughts about homeschool when we were there. I loved how much space there was at the arboretum and so much freedom to run. I was hoping that they wouldn’t fall in the pond since I was giving them a lot of space and the only rule was not to get too close to the edge. Predictably, “too close” ended up being subjective.

My son didn’t like the lunch that I brought so he was refusing to eat. I had thought that I could convince him to eat some turkey, but he is really stubborn and would not be convinced. He told me it was disgusting and I lost my temper. Next time we go I will pack something that he will eat. It was ninety degrees and we needed more cold water. So if it’s that hot next time, I need to take six servings of water instead of three. Luckily I had some quarters so that we were able to buy pellets for the ducks. Next time I need to remember the duck food vending machine and put at least four quarters into my pocket.

There are mulched trails throughout the woods that we didn’t explore. Next time I think we should wear tennis shoes instead of sandals. We will be more adventurous and go beyond the pond! On the way back to the car we were really tired and hot, but we stopped in the shade to admire a fallen butterfly. Her body looked injured and she couldn’t fly. We had a magnifying glass with us and got to look at how beautiful she was. I reminded my children to be respectful and careful. It was sad to watch her dying, but I was grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate to them how to react gently and kindly. I don’t know if there is an evil impulse in everyone that makes torturing an injured animal or insect so tempting, but it was definitely there in my daughter. She controlled herself under my watch, but I wonder if she would delight in ripping a butterfly apart if I weren’t there.

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afternoon at the arboretum

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afternoon at the arboretum

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afternoon at the arboretum

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afternoon at the arboretum

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afternoon at the arboretum

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afternoon at the arboretum

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5 Comments
  1. August 19, 2008 2:37 pm

    I took my kids out a lot when they were little but we had the beach, thank goodness, and it kept them entertained for hours. I would always bring lunch but it was usually PB & J. Fortunately there was a snack bar if we were desperate. Well at least next time you’ll know what to bring. I had to learn too. The photos were great and the butterfly was beautiful. I wonder if your daughter thought more about taking it apart to see how it works.

  2. August 19, 2008 2:46 pm

    Sounds to me like you’re already a “successful mom!” Next time you’ll be more prepared, but unless you drive yourself mad, you can’t be ready for *any and everything* (two pairs of shoes for everyone in case they get wet? band-aids for cuts? etc. HA).
    And it looks to me like your children got to see some fabulous wildlife. Great photos!

  3. Susannah permalink
    August 19, 2008 5:21 pm

    Great photos! It looks like you all had an enjoyable time even if you were worried about being more prepared. I’ve been learning a lot through my friends and family members who have small children; I think half the fun should be in being un-prepared for what you might encounter!

    If you are looking for another fun adventure for them…come to the Frontier Culture Museum on September 5th for First Fridays (free admission in the evening) and explore. My husband and I went on August 1st and were delighted by the new walking trails and exhibits that they have built!

  4. August 20, 2008 1:12 am

    Ah, nature trips with the kids. A learning experience all the way around. This post brought back memories of homeschooling my kids when they were little. Great photos!

  5. August 20, 2008 7:07 am

    Joan, thanks for your encouragement! My daughter is in some kind of mood where she’s mean to animals. She was making faces at my dad’s cows and then at the arboretum she was scaring the ducks on purpose. I will talk to her more about this.

    westward bound, thank you. I should have taken a backpack instead of a shopping bag. Then I would have been much more comfortable carrying around all our picnic gear. And I didn’t mention I was wearing high heels. Hahaha! It was kind of a spur of the moment visit.

    Susannah, I think we will go to the Frontier Culture Museum on Friday. My mother in law will be here, visiting the United States for the first time. Thank you for the great idea!

    teeveebee, thanks. We look forward to another learning experience there soon.

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