Recently, I took a walk with my granddaughter, Lizzie, who is 8 years old. We walked a trail around a local lake (in Nebraska it is called a lake – Colorado and Minnesota would call it a pond) on a lovely walking trail where we could see all kinds of wonderful things. It was a nice cool evening – which is unusual in August in Nebraska and there was a gentle breeze so we weren’t bothered by nasty little flying insects like mosquitoes and gnats.
I usually take this walk with my hubby and we talk about the day’s happenings – and we have long moments of silence – mainly because I don’t walk as fast as Pat and I’m trying to concentrate on not tripping on a crack in the sidewalk and going ass-over-tea kettle as my mother used to say. However, my walk with Lizzie was much, much different.
Lizzie has inherited my gift for talking a lot (sometimes too much) – and she loves sharing her opinions about life, her family, science, tornadoes (the child does love tornadoes) and other assorted subjects. Our walk gave Lizzie two things she loves – a captive audience (me – she knows I can’t run without passing out or falling down) and an hour of uninterrupted talking time.
We covered lots of subjects (all in her own words) –
- Liz – Adults don’t understand kids. We are really organized and adults don’t see it. We understand where everything is. Me – Is that why your room is a mess? Lizzie – that’s different.
- Liz – I wasn’t really prepared for a walk. I’m wearing the wrong things. Me – What ‘things’ do you need? You have shoes and clothes on. Liz – Not the right KIND of shoes and clothes. [SCREAM BY LIZZIE] – see a bug landed on me because I wasn’t dressed right! Me – [LAUGHING].
- Me – see the blue heron out on the island? Lizzie – No. Me – See right there. He blends in with the trees and water. Lizzie – Of course he blends in! That’s why I can’t see him! Me – Look again, he is moving and spreading his wings. Lizzie – Now I see him! He looks like this – [POSES LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF THE KARATE KID]
- Lizzie – Oh look! A fuzzy caterpillar! Can I pet him? Me – No that could hurt him. Liz – then why did God make him fuzzy?
- Liz – [SCREAM]. Me – it was just a grasshopper. Liz – but it had wings! Me – Yep. You can see them when they jump. Liz – they don’t need wings they can already jump. That isn’t fair to all of the other insects!
But my favorite topic of the evening was concerning Nature in general. As we were coming around on our final lap, Lizzie looked at the moon coming up, the geese landing in the water and the water rippling by and said “Grandma – I just love Nature. Nature is a gift – a wonderful gift. Everything in Nature is a gift and works together to make things beautiful.” Immediately upon finishing this statement, Lizzie screamed and stomped on a tiny cricket.
Liz – I thought all of Nature was a beautiful gift.”
“Everything is – except THAT cricket.”