"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Beautiful Cacti

Emerson the chicken visited us up in the swing set
One of Tegan's very favorite things to do right is to swing.  It actually makes me a little sad just how much she loves it because 1) The swing set (which we got for free 4 years ago) is in major disrepair, and is going to have to be taken down sooner rather than later, and 2) It won't be long before the temps are 110+, and our only outdoor activities will be those involving water.

So, we've been sure to spend lots of time on the swings - and enjoy every minute - for both of those reasons.   I push her on the swings until my arms start feeling like lead, and then I push her some more.  When she's had enough swinging, we go up into the play house area, where we hang out and chat about important girl things like Dora, chickens, and farts.   We were doing exactly that yesterday, when she suddenly stood up and said,

"MOMMY.  Look!  I see houses!"  She was looking over the wall towards the houses across the street.

Tegan's view across the street
I'm not sure if she's never noticed it before, or if she was just enjoying it anew, but she was very excited by this discovery.  She was looking across the street the way a tourist would look at the Grand Canyon.  In awe. 

"Look!  Look in their front yard!  A cactus!"  And then she heaved a giant sigh.  "Oh it's so beautiful."

"The cactus?"

"Yes, mommy, look.  It's a beautiful cactus." 

Keep in mind that we live in Phoenix.  There's a cactus on every corner.  There's a cactus everywhere. We can't leave our house without seeing a cactus.  Like anything else that you're used to living around, we take them for granted.   They provide a pretty backdrop when we're off-roading, but beyond that I never give them much thought.

But my daughter wasn't looking at just any old cactus, she was looking at this cactus, and she found it beautiful.  My heart broke a little bit, again, the way it does every time I'm struck with just how very much I love these kids.  She is so innocent.  So pure.  So in love with life, and so in love with the moment.  And it's beautiful.  It's all beautiful. 

It's funny, because one of the biggest obstacles people seem to struggle with when it comes to deciding to homeschool is whether or not they'd know what they needed to know to teach their kids.   But as any parent that's paying attention could tell you: the real lessons, the important lessons, we learn FROM our kids, not the other way around. 

This particular lesson - to live in the moment, to be still, to appreciate the beauty and the wonder even in the simplest of things - is one that my youngest child has taught me well. 

"Yes baby, it IS a beautiful cactus."   And it was.  The most beautiful cactus I've ever seen.


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