First Day

So - yesterday was officially our first day of "preschool" - or of me acting like a proper mom who actually attempts to educate her child in a thoughtful manner. This is nothing against people who don't mother my way - it's just my way of differentiating what I have been doing for the past three years and what I'm doing now.

What I'm attempting is a Charlotte Mason styled preschool which in all actuality doesn't involve much "schooling" in the sense that most people would think. Our first day went a bit like this:

Awake at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. to get Pops off to work so that we could have the car for our field trip. Drop him off at around 6:30 - drive to Lettuce Lake, about 40 minutes. Realize that the park doesn't open until 8 a.m. and drive around, completely bewildered with nothing to do until then. Get lost on USF campus - lovely campus really... full of students doing student-y things, like ignoring cars as they dodge into traffic on foot.
Anyway - around this time Zeus decides to get pissed off, Angels go bowling or whatever and the heavens part for what I assume will be a brief storm (because since moving here in May we've only ever had brief storms). Oh how wrong I was.
It pours buckets. We arrive at the park around 830 (Marley's been sleeping since just after dropping Micah off so I've just been driving aimlessly enjoying my ipod on shuffle). The ranger at the gate tells us to try to stay dry... I sigh. We have no rain gear. We unload anyway and have a breakfast picnic under a pavilion as the storm really gets going. There wasn't much wind so we stayed dry.
After half an hour under the pavilion I debate going home. My husband sends me a text that there is nothing but storms forecast for the entire morning. Welcome to hurricane season on the Gulf.
But NO! I have planned this day. It will happen come Hell or high water... I was really hoping Hell wouldn't come because we surely already had the high water.
We head to the visitor's center so I can feel like we at least did something worthy of our $2 admission. We hang out with this guy.
Creepy taxidermy bald eagle, a.k.a. Marley's new BFF.
He becomes Marley's new best friend and we learn two new vocabulary words. Beak and talon... Marley was seriously smitten with this eagle... Perhaps she's showing a keen patriotism that her mother can't seem to muster up, no matter how many times she is reminded that she is an integral part of the success of the military mission... Perhaps I'm reading too much into it.
After a while the rain lightens up to a sort of slow and steady light rain that is absolutely perfect for taking walks.
M on the boardwalk in the rain.
Seriously. The temperature was right, the rain was still heavy enough to deter most mosquitoes. So we head out of doors - because Marley's new eagle friend was starting to creep me the F out.
We take the board walk instead of the nature trail because it's raining, we're in a swamp and I didn't bring rain boots.
We spend the ENTIRE walk looking for eagles. Instead, we find these:
A scary huge spider, perhaps a tri-colored Heron??? and an impossibly small frog.

Marley enjoyed pointing out squirrels and lady bugs and the occasional dragon. She picked up sticks and poked things. Climbed the observation tower with determination and only whined at the end of our walk that my hand was too heavy for her to hold and could we please go back and see the eagle now?
It was flippin majestic, like I said. And I fell in love with its eerie beauty.

Back at the visitor's center with her new friend, M directs me on how to use my camera properly. She does not abide shooting from the hip.
We came home to a lunch of breakfast, after which we did scripture study. This is where I was sort of leery... Getting M to sit and listen to scripture and poetry?
However - she kind of loved it. When I finished my lunch, I whipped out my bible and told her we were going to read from the Bible today, from the Book of John. She said okay and we read the verses like four times at her behest. Our scripture for this week is some of my favorite but the reasoning for it could be a whole other blog post in and of itself.
Not wanting to press my luck, I read Edna St. Vincent Millay's "First Fig"for the poetry. She sat in rapt attention and asked for more. So we read Langston Hughes "Dream Deferred" - three times and again when Pops got home. After that it was nap time and then time to pick up Pops from work.

My kid seriously blew my mind yesterday in all of her awesomeness. I could not believe the way she took to listening to scripture and poetry (although I will have to give props to the lovely Dr. Anne Perry for showing me how to read poetry in a way as to make it interesting).

I know this post is overly verbose, but I could not be more encouraged with my journey than I am right now! I'm so proud of Marley and I'm proud of me for getting through the first day unscathed, spilling over inspiration in lieu of doubts.


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