Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Worms and Dandelions

We spent two weeks in Minnesota this summer so that we could complete one of our New Years Resolutions.  We love Florida, but we want our children to see all that this country has to offer beyond strip malls and theme parks.  I love a good roller coaster, but we wanted to really live somewhere different to experience the energy of a place without the pressure of an agenda.  My husband works for a company based in Minneapolis, so we decided to take our inaugural trip there.

I cannot begin to tell you how much the people at his office helped us.  His boss and our friend let us live in her house (her house!) for free and another woman loaned us her car.  Another wonderful (and ridiculously funny) friend loaned us a pack n play and a high chair.  The first weekend we were there, they threw us a party to welcome us and introduce the kids and me to all the people that work there.  I have never experienced such an outpouring of kindness.

As a thank you to our friend that loaned us the house, we decided to clean out her flower beds and do a bit of landscaping.  She had wanted to do it but never had enough time to finish the job.  Each day, we would head outside in our pajamas and start digging.  My oldest son found worms for the first time ever (worms don't like Florida much) and he climbed his first tree.  

He blew dandelions and made wishes.  We learned about plants that like the shade and plants that like the sun and he helped me to choose what should go where.  He used his toy back hoe to dig holes for the plants while my youngest happily squirted himself with the hose and covered himself with mud.  

Although we went to the aquarium, the Mall of America and Minnesota's beautiful lakes, my favorite memories of the trip were made in the dirt.

 Sometimes, all we need to do is make a wish on a dandelion and feel the sun on our backs as we work.  Our kids don't need all the fanfare.  They just want to be exploring and making memories with us at their sides.

How do you let your children explore the world?

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