Well, joining this blog circle was supposed to aid in me blogging more…and, um, well, here we are a month later and the August 5 on 5 post was my last one. Oh well.
So many fun things happened in August, and there are many stories I could tell. Yet, as they’ve all swirled around in my brain, none of them really felt like “the one” I wanted to tell, and then I realized that there was one constant of these last warmer months that stuck out to me. I’ve heard it said, and I’ve had said to me, that kids are our greatest teachers. Usually I nod (but, really I want to roll my eyes) and think to myself, “yep, my kids are super awesome at teaching me how to lose it in about 30 seconds.” Because really, when my husband and I decided to have kids, one of the reasons was never “oh, yes, let’s have kids so that we’ll have tiny humans that can teach us how to be better versions of ourselves.” Except that today, it occurred to me that my son closed out a months-long lesson in persistence.
This kid loves bugs. And reptiles. And frogs. LOVES THEM. He reads about them, watches YouTube videos about them, asks constant questions about them, and every day he’s searching for them. His adventures don’t last just a few minutes either, he will search all day, and when the sun sets, he demands a flashlight. Early in the summer he saw a picture of a leopard frog in a library book, and he became determined to find and catch one…luckily, one can find them in Iowa. Finding them wasn’t too difficult, but catching them was another story. These stupid frogs are fast and have an unpredictable jumping trajectory. Many days were spent at Grandpa’s house, chasing them through wood piles and gardens, and they would always manage to sneak away. About 2 weeks ago the grasshoppers emerged in full force, and although temporary, his attention was diverted away from catching a leopard frog. Grasshoppers are much easier to catch. I was thankful for the frog hunting reprieve.
The emergence of the grasshoppers also coincided with the start of the school year. He started kindergarten this year, and I’ve been a little worried about that transition ever since he told his teacher at our home visit that he thinks “kindergarten is stupid.” By the third day of school he had a reputation as the kid that spends all of his recess time looking for grasshoppers and frogs. Yesterday morning before school, he found a huge, bright green grasshopper, and he insisted on taking it to school with him. So, off he went to school, (contained) grasshopper in tow. When my husband walked him to class he was immediately surrounded by kids in the hall, all wanting to see what he had in the container. When I went to pick him up that day, his teacher told me that he now has a following of kids at recess that join him in his quest for bugs. I really love that in feeling free to do his own thing, he attracted a group of kids that want to hang with him. Amazingly, the grasshopper survived its day at kindergarten, and he released it outside as we left the school. His teacher also mentioned that she’d had a hard time keeping him out of a pond that day…because he had spotted a frog.
Of course he started going on and on about the frog as soon as we got in the car. He described it in vivid detail and wanted me to go looking for it with him. I finally got him to stop by promising that the next day I would take him frog hunting after school. When I picked him up the next day the first thing he said was “I’m ready to go hunt frogs now.” His teacher shot me a knowing look that let me know he’d been talking about it all day. So, armed with a net and a snack, we were off.
He set out traipsing through tall grass and weeds, and finally, he did it. He caught a leopard frog. Three months of searching later and he found his Holy Grail. He kept that frog by his side for the next five hours. I thought I was going to have to make a late night run to find a frog habitat, but he decided that it would be best to let it go, and he did. After he went to bed that night I thought about all of the hours he logged trying to catch one of those frogs this Summer, and it got me thinking. I realized this kid of mine has always been unrelenting in his pursuit of the things that he deems make his life fuller. He has always been motivated by nothing but his own will. He often shuns logic and reason to go after what he wants, and he is almost always successful. Now obviously, this has its challenges, but I hope his internal motivation continues to drive him to do great things. So, what drives you? What do you seek? When was the last time you wanted something so much that you were unwavering in your quest to get whatever “it” is? I know what my answers are, and I’d love to hear yours. Next up in the September 5 on 5 is Jennifer Krafchik, Maryland lifestyle documentary family photographer, so head on over and check her out!