A month or so ago, I took Trevor for his first true nature walk. We walked much longer than I thought we might. He fatigues easily. But he was curious and enjoyed bossing me around by saying which way we were going to turn next. He had NO idea what nature was and it was adorable. He’d point at a car and cry, “Nature!” Or a house…a plane. I gently reminded him nature would be anything that God created…sun, moon, land, animals. He slowly began to understand.
I’ve been talking about nature, as the opportunity arises, ever since we took that first nature walk. Nothing structured. Just gentle acknowledgement of beauty we hear and see in the world around us. Trying to build his vocabulary and knowledge.
Something about it is clicking with him. For instance, last night when he held a seashell out and said with great joy,
“Mommy, I holding nature!”
I could hear in his voice pride that he understood it was nature.
And awe at the beauty.
And joy of the discovery.
It moved me to my core.
Charlotte Mason, author of my favorite educational philosophy, encourages the idea that education is an atmosphere. Meaning, it’s not confined to a specific building or room but should be infused into our lives holistically. I think about this idea often. One day I had the idea to move some nature-ish books off the bookshelf and have them setting out. I keep them on a table in the livingroom as you’ll see in the picture.
I noticed this week that the cute little blue bird book has been out of place. Clearly someone had been flipping through it. Toby has always had the heart of an ornithologist, I just assumed it was him.
This morning, Trevor asked me to come help him with his Wii game. Complete opposite of nature, I know. But it is 2015. He was wiggly and jumping and happy. I’m a gamer by no means but I went to help him anyway. Making sure he knew I probably wouldn’t be able to do what he wanted.
It was some crazy, impossible game where I have to trace the lines. I was doing awful! He didn’t care.
Trevor, not making eye contact or even sitting still. But rather dancing and jumping around the room says…
I was thinking, Mom…
That phrase right there took my breath away. One of my heart desires is to know what he thinks about. I know he has so many thoughts inside himself, it’s just the getting them out that’s the trouble. So to hear him say those beautiful words, “I was thinking” did me in right then and there. But then he went on…
I was thinking, Mom. That blue book. Birds. I look it. Maybe I know birds in the sky. If I look book. Maybe same?
The sentence structure was imperfect. The articulation difficult for the untrained ear to make out. But the content of what he just said was unbelievable, astoundingly miraculous.
He, with his own broken eyes noticed that book. I’d never shown it to him. Not even once.
He, with his little arms and curious mind picked that book up and looked at the pictures.
He, in his own self sparked the idea that he could use the book to understand more about the world around him.
My heart rejoiced as my eyes watered.
It was Trevor who was leaving that little blue bird book out. And he was thinking!