Soaking it in


Yesterday we explored a new lake in the area. The goblins and I had tons of fun swimming and doing silly beach stuff.

A friend of ours invited us to an outing of her homeschooling group. She’d told us about the lake a while back, but I figured this was a good excuse to justify the 75 minute drive (okay, 45 if I hadn’t gotten lost). I can see why she likes the area. Ottawa Lake is a section of the larger, somewhat piecemeal Kettle Moraine State Forest. Unlike most of the other sections, there’s less emphasis on hiking trails (though there are some), with most of the focus on the lake and the campground. If you’re there for camping and swimming, it’s hard to beat. The water is shallow, which means the lake warms up fast. Being a state park, there’s no annoying lifeguards constantly chastising you for being a good parent and (gasp!) letting your kids play.

The goblins enjoyed the activities, with Gamma particularly liking the homemade bubble wand project, but I’m not sure I feel a burning need to join a homeschool group. They socialize pretty well with random kids, and I personally prefer keeping trips as local and as low-key as possible. Outside of my friend, I didn’t particularly click with the parents present and mostly spent my time in the water with the kids – or without them.

I’ve come to realize just how cool a lot of insects are. Yesterday there were a lot of dragonflies doing their incredibly complex flight maneuvers around the swimming area. I spent a good portion of the day sitting or wading in the water, watching them move around. The goblins weren’t as good at spotting them, or as interested, but that’s okay. Then again, if I’d caught one, they’d have been fascinated.

We also saw a family of Canada geese with a really young gosling. Nearly all of the goslings I’ve seen are already near adult growth, whereas this one seemed a solid 3 or 4 weeks behind. I’m no biologist, but it was interesting to see a baby so much younger than the hatchlings we’ve seen. The parents swam back and forth outside of the buoyed swimming area with their baby between them a good 7-8 times while we were there.

It’s the patience to observe that, more than anything, I want my goblins to acquire. So much of modern life is rush, rush, rush. Follow the instructions. Build this, do that. Maybe we wouldn’t be in such a hurry to destroy the planet if we sat back and watched it grow.


3 Comments on “Soaking it in”

  1. Dr. Doom says:

    Neat post. On a related note, a couple of robins built a nest on top of a hose hanger in our backyard and I’ve been enjoying watching them feed their babies over the last week. The whole process is taking place at eye level, making it easy to observe. They little ones look like they’re just about ready to try to fly. Nature is pretty amazing, and exposure to it generally makes us happier and more relaxed than all of this tech stuff…

    • David says:

      We have robins all over our yard, but no nests that I’ve spotted. The cute thing we saw was robins digging a little hole underneath a soaker hose and making an improvised bird bath in the puddle that resulted.

  2. It would be hard for me to make sure my kids got out of the house often enough not to have a parent-centric life. I don’t want to throw them in a room with a bunch of other kids who only have in common with them the approximate duration of their time outside the womb, but my tendency would be to err the other way and spend too MUCH time with them.

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