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A Country Education

When we moved to our hundred acre weed and rock sanctuary, I happily dragged the children through the woods on hunts for nuts, lichen, and pods for ecology crafts.  We waded the creek finding smooth stones and fossils, even coral. In the snow, we went looking for animal tracks. And in the dark of night we drove the jeep through fields to find the perch of the Great American Owl, that we spotted flying during the day.  I often enthused about all the amazing things, we were going to learn by living in the country.

One day, my first grader announced, “Mom, you were right. I’m learning a lot of new things in the country.”

Delighted, I asked, “What kind of new things?”

“Well, before we moved here and had to ride a school bus, I didn’t know hardly any cuss words.”
That wasn’t quite the answer I was hoping for.

Later, I realized that in my eagerness to get back to nature, dragging my family with me, I might have gone overboard a bit. A friend from church invited my first grader to go swimming with her first grader at the Country Club. She later laughingly told me she figured we must swim in a creek, because my son asked whether he should leave his tennis shoes on for swimming.

I told her I was surprised he didn’t throw rocks in to chase the snakes away.

A lot of things are different in the country.