Down by the Creek

I only have one child this week. There was a time when I thought having one child to take care of would be like a holiday, a respite from the normal, but I don’t think that any more. Having only one child means that I have to spend more time with that child because they are not used to being on their own. They miss their siblings and all of the activities they do with that sibling. Don’t misunderstand me; I enjoy spending time with my kids but there are things that the child does with their siblings that is not in my repertoire, like jumping on the trampoline (bouncing this 52 yr. old body is not as pleasant as it used to be,) playing video games (again, this 52 yr. old brain just cannot understand how to play these games,) and playing Barbies (now, I can play Barbies regardless of my age but I deliberately choose not to.) Then, to add to the complexity of this situation, the child that is at home with me does not like to do all of the things that I like to do, for example, she does not like to play Dutch Blitz (how could a child of mine not like Dutch Blitz?) nor does she like to go for walks (she can do it in little spurts but she does not like the lengthy walks that I am well known for.) So we are limited on the things that we can do together. Thankfully, this girl loves to be read to, loves to bake and enjoys nature so we have been filling up our time with those things.

This afternoon we went to the creek to swim. Well, she swam and I read. It was difficult to swim when you don’t have your big brother to splash or wrestle with. You also can’t take the raft out on your own but you can float in a tire and watch all that is going on around you.

There is a family of birds that frequently show up at the creek. They like to perch themselves on top of the long grass and watch all that goes on around them. They are a beautiful bird; jet black with a strip of red at the base of their wings. They have three distinctive songs: the first is a clicking sound they make while they are flying, then they make another song that they sing only when they are still, whenever they emit that song their wings pulse a bit, they have yet another song they sing when they are flying as well. We spent most of our time just watching these birds. They were beautiful to watch.

What was even more beautiful to watch was my girl, sprawled on her inner tube, paddling ever so subtle so as not to scare the birds. She moved herself closer and closer to the birds, trying hard not to make any quick moves. Most of her time in the creek was spent in just watching these majestic birds. She watched their every moves and quietly commented on her observations.

Our version of bird watching was a nice pocket of quiet that we both could enjoy together.

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