the backpack


I’ve been enjoying the gardens this spring, more than I ever have.  I think it’s because for the first time in almost 2o years I don’t have any children younger than five years old.  Although with Seth in my life it is still questionable whether I should turn my back on him…for the most part the children can be trusted to play while I lose myself in the garden for brief periods of time.


I want to fill the house with vases of lilacs.


This is six year old Seth in the stream, peering into the pipe that allows the water to run under the road near our house.  He was looking for snake skin.  It is common knowledge to the boys that the local snakes use these pipes to pull dead skins off themselves.  He counted six of them but after reaching one, he would not get the rest because he also saw a spider.

This morning Seth had a hard time waking up and getting motivated for a day of Kindergarten.  He tried the typical “I don’t feel good” but I wasn’t falling for it.  I put together his backpack and was quite pleased that I made him a nice lunch and remembered to put the strawberries in his bag for tomorrow’s event.  I hung his bag on the doorknob right where he could grab it on his way to the bus.  20 minutes later the bus came…..and what in the??? no backpack to be found–was I going crazy?….I started running around the kitchen as the bus sat and waited.   “WHERE is your backpack?”  “I don’t know!”  “I’ll bring it to you when I find it!” Seth looked at me in shock when I (GENTLY) pushed him out the door.  He couldn’t believe that he had to go to school without it.  It took some persuading to get him on the bus.

I found the backpack LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM.

I had to drive it to school.

When he gets home I am going to have to talk to him about problem solving, creative thinking, telling the truth,  responsibility, and the fact that the little trust I had in him is now damaged.


Anyway, back to the snakes.  After pocketing the one snake skin that he was able to reach from the pipe, and the two of us talking a lot about how a snake takes it’s skin off like that and whether humans also shed skin (hard to explain), we entered the field not far from our house.  I was on a quest to see if the wild rose bush was in bloom.



The wild rose bush was neatly clipped off at the end of each branch (deer?) with no buds to be seen on it (so disappointing) but we did find some wild strawberries.





Little ruby treasures.



There was spit everywhere…..inside of the spit there are little spit bugs to be found…


….they look like this.


water reflections in our pond


the daisies are in bloom


There was a nest was nearby and he did his best to keep me away from it by constant chirping.

This morning I have a cold, Sarah is coughing up a storm, and Ethan is home from school feeling wretched.  The entire outdoors is in gloomy suspended animation as we wait and wonder if it will rain.  A cool breeze blows through now and then, causing the wind chimes to flutter and play it’s notes.

“He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”  Psalm 107:9  




10 thoughts on “the backpack

  1. Not having any real little kids is such a difference isn’t it? Saturday I threw some drinks in the car and we ran a few errands then hit some yard sales. Everyone could get themselves in and out of the car. There were no babies to put in slings and take out. No diaper changes. No one cried. It was such a beautiful thing and we had FUN!
    Praying for Seth’s heart to be soft for your little talk later. Hugs.

  2. Ah yes, I vividly remember the days when I had three little ones under 6. And you had more than me. 20 years of having little kids in your care is very full one! They are a blessing but also require much energy. Well done! I think many families I know have a “Seth.” One of my sons was like that. We joked that he would either become a famous criminal or famous scientist/explorer/inventor. He was also rather “creative” in his behaviour. The great news is that usually with continued guidance and love they channel these energies and talents into great things when they are older. I got a few extra grey hairs from my son in the process though. 🙂
    Loved the nature tour, Shanda! How interesting that you have a place where you can reliably find snake skins! I’ve only seen a few in my entire life despite having many living in our environment.
    Enjoy this time without diapers and midnight feeds. You’ve more than earned some rest and extra fun. 🙂

    • I am also a firm believer in the “troublesome” traits of our youngsters developing into their greatest strengths! You are a great Mom!

  3. Your yard looks like ours, full of beautiful things. Once when we lived in Africa I found a large snake skin under our bathroom sink. I think it was from a black mamba, because not long after that one of the Africans killed a 6 foot long black mamba on a neighbor’s back porch. I can co-exist peacefully with garter snakes, but not any other kind! I wondered where the “spit” on plants came from. Now I know.

  4. I knew that bugs made that spit but honestly I never thought there could be a bug inside. How neat is that though I won’t be looking. 🙂 i am NOT a bug ( of any kind) fan. 🙂 hope the cold is over quickly.

    • Nikki, you should look! I’m laughing as I type this, but honestly, those little bugs are completely harmless….and there are usually several in there. It’s fun. 🙂

  5. I’ve never seen spit bugs before last week when my overgrown flower bed was full of them and I was getting covered with the slime as I tried to weed. Yuck!

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