I recently skimmed and article in the Wall Street Journal about the benefit of chores for children. I skimmed it because it really seemed like a waste of time to read an article about something that already seemed so obvious. (Not to mention a waste of grant money to study and write about something that seems so obvious.)
My parents never out right said it, but it was lovingly implied, "You don't work; you don't eat." So, from one generation to another...
You wear it, you wash and fold it.
You eat off it, you wash it.
Have you ever seen those "Nailed it" photos on Facebook? They usually show a photo of some sort of Pinterest craft or activity and then show a second photo of your Average Joe's attempt at the same thing. "Nailed it!" (But not really.) Sometimes they are hilarious. And sometimes I look around my house and feel like we are a constant display of that second photo. Our birthday bunting looks awfully cute when it is blurred in the background, but up close it is a genuine hack job!
And then I see my mad skills and taste being passed down to the progeny. Check out Sister wrapping the June birthday boy's gifts in Christmas paper! But aren't they cute? All secrety and sly, up late wrapping for Daddy.
I'm not trying to slam Pinterest. I would say 40% of our homeschool curriculum comes from there. But does this look like a man who cares that his birthday gifts are wrapped in Winnie the Pooh Christmas paper?
And pre-used bags with another person's name written on it in Sharpie? It's not that I have given up mircro-managing all together. Don't get me wrong. But occasionally I recognize, before it is too late, that everyone has a lot more fun when they get to take a bit of their own initiative.
He thinks they get this stuff from me.
I beg to differ.
So what do you think? Nailed it? It's supposed to be a serene family scene - picnic breakfast of homemade granola, yogurt and berries. Quite possibly the bunting should have been hung between two shade trees, but those were about 100 yards away. And maybe the van should not have been in the photo, but we were parked by the side of the road because that is where the trail head was. (Never mind the cars whizzing by on the mountain road beside us...hence the reason the baby is strapped in the stroller.) And you can't see my coffee because I had already kicked it over and I am pretty sure someone stepped in their bowl and sent granola flying everywhere. Good thing these things are pictures, not videos. You can hide a lot in a picture. The things we do for other people. I am pretty sure he would have been happy with Larabars and bananas served a la carte in the van on the way up there. But look at him...serving yogurt to his babies on a blanket spread over dirt and rocks by the side of the road on his birthday. Nailed it!
So on to the birthday hike, fueled by a yummy, roadside breakfast. This was up at Laguna Mountain and it has been one of my favorite hikes.
Not all of them are willing hikers yet. But we are getting there. Thankfully Dad is strong.
The sky was so blue.
The beauty of this hike that you can't quite appreciate from these pictures is the opposing terrains. As you ascend you look down on the Anza Borrego desert on one side and a evergreen forrest on the other. It's not quite the evergreen forrest I know from Tennessee. This one gets very little water and has been ravaged by fire. But it is still quite beautiful.
See that monstrous lizard?
This one was even bigger. It looked like a giant turtle/lizard. We have no idea what it was. You might have to enlarge the pictures.
It was SO hot.
Not sure what that purple flower is.
Not sure about about the bird either.
I know that bird, though.
Conquering the peak!
Signing the book in the can.
Draggin' our sorry selves back down. Did I say it was hot?
Letting the baby run out the end. Sit down...here comes the action sequence.
Happy Birthday Daddy!