Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Magical Creek

Can you hear it?

My windows are open and the birds are chirping and singing and are oh, so very busy. We back up to woods and a creek and the birds love it. Under our deck it's like a bird hotel, there are four bird nests, two look like robins nests and the other two look like dove nests. We found a cardinal nest in the bush next to the deck yesterday. A couple of hawks have built a nest high up in the trees and you can see the babies now if you look carefully through the leaves. Every once in a while you can hear their screeching calls. A couple of ducks can be heard quacking as they swim up and down the creek. The other day, Chris had closed our windows. I asked if he was cold and he said, "No, it's just that the birds are too noisy first thing in the morning."

Can you see it?

The canopy of leaves on the trees have filled-in our backyard. New growth is coming in on the bushes, the early spring blossoms have fallen and given way to new leaves while late spring blooms are just emerging. On our way to Ryan's band concert last night, lightning cracking down to earth and provided us with its own show.The light filled the sky. 

Can you feel it?

Yesterday my phone read 94º. I know some people would say that's too hot too fast, but for me, it's better than the 4º back in January. It was a long, cold, snowy, icy winter and the warmth of the sun has felt great. But there is also a feeling in the air that it is coming, it is almost here…summer. The ice cream man has been making his rounds, the boys have been playing basketball out in the cul de sac with friends, laughing and screaming and just plain having a good time. Sometimes a huge manhunt game breaks out. The kids have gotten older and they will get on their scooters and go to all three cul de sacs in our neighborhood knocking on doors to gather as many kids as they can find for the game. Their boundaries have expanded throughout the years as they have grown. Kids could be hiding anywhere and good luck trying to find yours if you need them for dinner or to get in the car for a practice. 

Last week, there was a day that my boys were in the basement playing xbox. I really don't like it, not just because my boys are stationary on the couch, but more because their biggest fights break out while they are playing. They are extremely competitive, they always have been. But as they are getting older, their bodies have gotten bigger, their voices have gotten louder, and their arguments have grown with them, over FAKE basketball games on the xbox. Arguments about cheating, and quitting, and who knows what?!? And who cares? IT'S…NOT…REAL! So during the last fight breakout, I took xbox away from them…again. I've done this before and I know it will happen again. It's hard to do in the winter months when it's freezing outside with snow and ice on the ground, they can only be outside for so long. Taking the electronics away when the weather is nice is so much easier.

For the past few days, the boys have been coming home from school and disappearing for hours. No one has been coming home screaming or fighting. They have just been outside…but not playing basketball. They return after these long disappearances filthy, dirty, covered in mud and sweat…turn on the hose and strip in the laundry room dirty…but getting along and not fighting. I finally asked them, "What are you guys doing?"

"We are down at the creek."

 Now, my kids have past many of hours down by the creek. We have pods of frog eggs and tadpoles in the playhouse in the backyard that have been collected, turtles have come up from the creek into our yard and every time one shows up they always name it Franklin. One turtle actually laid it's eggs in our yard and the kids had us build a cage over the nest to protect it from other animals. Three months later we had baby turtles. In early summer, you can walk down there in the evening with a flashlight and sit to watch the amazing light show of a million fireflies. 

They love playing down by the creek. They get dirty and messy, but isn't that what boys should be doing? I was talking to a friend the other day that has a common area behind her house. It's an open area and her boys will play football or baseball out in the field. She said that she has had older neighbors that have complained about the boys. The boys have been yelled at for climbing the trees. While she was telling me this, I thought about how many people from the generation before me have said things about kids nowadays with all their electronics, and when they were a kid their curfew was when the street light came on, and the hours that they played outside, unscheduled, not at organized activities. But here were boys, just being kids, and getting in trouble for the stuff that this older generation all did in the good old days.

Yesterday, while I was dropping Molly off at dance, the boys came home from school. I walked into an empty house. A bag of popcorn was popped but not eaten.

Backpacks were on the ground, sneakers were kicked off, but no boys. I texted Ryan to see where he was, but then found his phone in his cubby. I then set out to find them. 

They were down by the creek. Ever since they lost xbox, they have been spending all their time down there. What were they doing? So I searched them out.

There they are. 

They were building, they were creating, they were getting along, they were working together. It was like the water in the creek possessed magical powers over my boys. They found wood that people must have discarded in the woods, 2x4's. They were building a fort. They had plans. They want to go to Home Depot to get longer nails, to maybe get a few more pieces of wood. They have plans to find flat rocks at the base of the tree because it is muddy and slippery and they thought if they build a small "patio" creekside, it would help. They built a bridge over the creek so they could cross, tied a rope around two trees to have something to hold on to so they wouldn't fall. 

Can you feel it? 

We had our last CCD class on Monday, Ryan had his last band concert last night, my kids are working through their SOL tests in school, two being taken today. Summer is coming! No schedules, no alarm clocks, no tests, no homework, just good old fashion play outside until your mom calls you home for dinner.  

I took the controllers for xbox so they couldn't play. Maybe I'll conveniently misplace them and not remember where I put them. Would that be such a bad thing? 

No comments:

Post a Comment