I often tell my son, “Today is a good day. Do you know why?” He does. If he is having trouble, he reluctantly answers, “Because you get to spend it with me.” And it is true. Every day I spend with my boy (or my daughter) is a good day. Yesterday, was a great day, because the first graders from Melrose Leadership Academy went to Sausal Creek to study the restoration project and habitat.
My son loves animals and habitats. For a first grader, he is either obsessed with living creatures or really smart. He studies animals the way I studied dinosaurs. We argue about whether insects are animals. (He believes that insects are in fact animals.) He has taught me that “water spiders” are actually “water striders,” and that the largest dolphin is… ? Wait for it? Just when you thought nothing was new… the killer whale. (look it up!)
I learn as much during the field trips as the students, and I suspect that the other parents learn too. (Here are more photos from our day.) We learn about the content as well as the individual personalities. I was reminded that we have bay leafs growing in our neighborhood. At one time, bears and wild cats roamed the hillside. (Berkeley Golden Bears took their name from the former local bear population… and if this is incorrect, I am going to blame it on my son.)
Since the whole “Killer Whale is really a dolphin” episode, I have given my boy more latitude with animal facts, with the exception of animal-music facts. “Moves Like Jaguar” is not a song, even though I hope Weird Al moves on this one quick… or quickly. Though you may not come to this blog expecting anything spiritual, yesterday was great for that too. Just when I needed a reminder from “somewhere,” I received the weekly blog post from the Reverend Anne Howard referencing … Mick Jagger and St. Paul. It moved me.
So while it is easy to focus on the negative, and wonder how life chews you up and spits you out, I prefer to focus on the positive path ahead. Some of life’s greatest gifts are free. They require effort, but they are worth the time. Sure, troubles will come, but they will pass. If only it were that simple….