Nature: 1, Nuture: 0

Yes, I know.  The smile on this face as it soars through the air with the greatest of ease would delight any parent.

And yet I confess, for as long as our youngest has been flashing us hints of her true nature, I have been trying my darnedest to nurture it out of her.

I’ve tried logic. I’ve tried restraining devices. And I’ve tried everything in between.  Nurture’s got nothing in the face of the iron strong will of a child who sees very little appeal in setting her feet upon terra firma.

My husband will gently suggest that I over-react.

That I’ve spent the past 9 years ladling up my fears and issues all over this poor child who really doesn’t curse the world that has unjustly saddled her with laws of gravity.

Perhaps.

It’s been a few years since Psych 101, so help me decipher this.  It’s Acadia’s answer to her 4th grade assignment to draw a picture that shows the class how you see yourself:

Ok my child, I hear you.  It’s not a passing phase.

And I do apologize for overlooking this obvious fact when you brought home your first arboreal self-portrait over 3 years ago.

It is not the thrill of autumn colors that tugs at your heart.  And it’s not the alluring scent of crisp apples that metaphorically attracts you to the tree-tops, either.

Ground = bad.  Tree tops = Good.

Got it, nature.  Message received.   And I hereby promise to try my best to harness my smothering need to nurture you back down to the earth.

Happy Birthday, Baby

Oops, that’s not my birthday baby.  Here she is.

Lest there be any confusion, her name is Acadia, not Lorax.  But boy oh boy does she speak for the trees.  If by speaking for the trees you mean throwing down on the lawn and kicking and screaming in protest of a few defenseless branches.

Sweet Acadia.  She doesn’t always manage the birthday with a smile.

Even the Mardi Gras beads didn’t make up for her extreme displeasure over my choice of birthday restraint back in her earlier fling-self-from-rooftops days.

Last weekend we moved some things around in the yard, in preparation for the big backyard birthday blow-out.  We are also weighing options for a still-hypothetical garden relocation project.  Maybe, just maybe the soil on the sunnier side favors the production of girl flowers?

In the heat of the preparations a large plastic climbing object was moved across the yard.  A couple of overhanging branches were cut to make room for playtimes free of eye-pokes.  A couple of branches.  Cut a couple of inches.

The planet patrol lost all control.  Her face turned red with rage.  She stomped her feet.  She clenched her fists. She announced that she WOULD NOT STAND HERE ONE MORE MINUTE AND WATCH US KILL THE TREES.  Then my dear little Lorax flung herself on the ground and cried her heart out.

Eventually the heart-heaving sobs quieted, but she continued to mope around, forlorn, staring at the mistreated grass and communing with the flowers that somehow had the misfortune to fall under the evil reign of her own parents.

Sweet sensitive soul. In her haste to castigate us she overlooked the fact that she claims as parents two of the biggest tree hugging hippies one could find.  Never mind that we committed to diligently recycle and compost and carry reusable bags.  No sound arguments would make it through whilst the sap on her friends’ wounds still oozed fresh.

We appeased her by letting her plant flowers, however many and wherever she thought best. It turned out the flowers felt they should be randomly scattered strategically placed in beds all over the lawn.

And with that the Lorax was back in business. She grabbed hold of that big old shovel and set right to work restoring balance to the planet.

She set sister Kira to task too.

While the irises were busy contemplating the next stop in their total domination of the yard, I questioned Acadia about her birthday wish list.  Turns out that there are, in fact, a couple of things that might make her stony facade break into smile.  They are, not necessarily in this order:

  1. Clothes for her dolls.
  2. A horse.
  3. And a promise on behalf of her parents to leave her leafy large friends alone.

A Girl By Any Other Name…

A rose by any other name is just as sweet. And so it goes for children, right? At least for our wildly natural, rocky coastline of a kid, Acadia, who got to meet her equally wild, equally rocky, equally beautiful namesake last week–

That’s my girl.  Acadia.  Bar Harbor, Maine was the next stop on our crazy never-ending summer road trip extravaganza.  We packed up the kids and spent four days in a cottage near the park.  Despite a chill in the air and some wet mornings, we toured the park, ate lobster, and went kayaking.

We also logged some serious beach combing time.

Some folks like to watch crime dramas.  Some like to knit.  Some try Valium.  For me there is nothing more relaxing than plopping down and combing the beach for sea-glass.  And there is no place better suited for this than Bar Harbor.

Perfect, sure. Beautiful, yes.  But edible? Not so much.  So when it came time for snack we moved on from seaside to hillside, where the Maine blueberries were just coming in.

I was in my element.  Happier than the clams that were being dug up all around us.  But all the wonder and natural beauty of our surroundings was nothing in the face of a couple of content kids harbor side.

Usually I have no problem remaining stoic where shopping is involved.  But I was powerless here.  What’s the point of having a destination child if you don’t cash on some really cool shwag?

Happy Birthday to Acadia

I’m working on a boatload of humorous articles, useful tips and wonderful recipes following our harvest day at the farm last weekend, really I am. But how can I be expected to formulate sentences when I am swimming (drowning?) in the inconceivable fact that, as of 2:54 last night, my baby turned five. FIVE!

Here’s an indulgent look at five years (well, four. We didn’t get the digital camera going until her second year) in the life of Acadia…Happy Birthday, baby.