Thursday, January 5

The Year of Nature

I live in suburban Hell.

All the houses look the same. White front doors, two cars in the driveway, and a tree on the small patch of yard out front. Each house has a 7' fence, cordoning off their own little plot of land. It's a relatively new development, so there are only a few gardens. When I stand on my porch with my back touching my front door, I can see 64 sets of windows that over look me. SIXTY-FOUR!

It drives me crazy that the other four people that I live with have no issue with this suburban Hell. The cookie-cutter approach to life works wonderfully for them. Just do what everyone else does. Don't call attention to yourself. Your value is measured by what others think of you. Keep your mouth shut and your head down.

I have had enough.

In 2012, I am going to help my children to be less suburban. I have decided to teach my children about Nature. I want them to learn that their food doesn't actually come from the grocery store. I want them to learn how plants grow. What they need to survive and thrive. I want them to learn about farming. I want them to see a cow being milked, a pig in a sty, and chickens. Not like at a petting zoo. It's important for me that my children are exposed to agriculture. I told myself that I will do anything in my power to assist my daughters in understanding the world around them. Having compassion for, and an interest in, wildlife. I felt happy, and thrilled a little at the prospect. Kinda nervous about finding a farm to visit, but eager about us examining Nature.

And the Bethie ask for a fish.

She wants a fish to love and watch and occasionally feed, but otherwise ignore. She wants a fish so I have one more soul to worry about, one more soul to pick up after, one more soul to feed. ain't cheap. Well, the fish are, but all the stuff you need to maintain the fish are really expensive. Dan said that I need to buy a minimum of a 10 gallon aquarium. I'm not at all sure how much a gallon is, much less ten of them, but I'm guessing it's gonna be bigger than a fish bowl.

So, I'm off to check out fish. Because, apparently, having a fish is my first step down the road to "Nature". Not quite how I imagined it...


Alicia said...

If you organize a field trip, I am so there! I have a tough time living in the city...trying to convince Hubby to move out into the country this year. There are many farms that will do a small tour or let you walk around. My friends talk fondly of Bearbrook Farm but I haven't tried it out yet. And for the fish - what about one of those fighting fish that sit in a bowl by itself...would that be good enough? I had a 10 gallon tank before I had E (all of cleaning and upkeep if you ask me - or maybe I'm just lazy)and I haven't set it back up yet.

Bibliomama said...

I spent all my summers on my mother's family's farms in Saskatchewan when I was a kid. I have to say, I'm not sorry to NOT be living the farm life. And I like having neighbours. But yeah, teach them about nature. Teach them about taking care of another creature. Teach them (probably) about life and death :). And if you buy a beta and they're out of beta food and they try to give you some other food and tell you the beta will eat it, don't believe them. Sincerely, a very short-lived beta-owner's mother.

Mum said...

Seems you live in a fish-bowl you might as well buy a fish too!

Yabut said...

I had goldfish at that age. All you need is a bowl. If she gets over the "I want a fish" stage quickly, then you haven't put out too much money. Gold fish can be fun, but don't keep them in the bedroom as they will keep you awake. ;)

Twins Squared said...

I'm a suburbanite at heart. I do try though to keep my kids grounded and not so "keep up with the Joneses" but I also admit it's hard. My kids seem to really love nature - their Dad takes them camping about twice a year and I just put my big girls in girl scouts to expose them even more. They LOVE plants and flowers and stuff. They're always trying to plant stuff in the backyard. Now that the little girls are finally getting older, I think this year we're going to put a giant planters box in the yard and let them have at it. Maybe even have a tiny garden. I do not have a green thumb but maybe one of them will do a better job than I would!

Good luck with your plans! Kaitlyn got mad at me because her teacher was giving away guppies and I wouldn't let her have one. 4 kids and an aging dog are enough for me right now!

Finola said...

How about teaching them about the urban lifestyle after you explore nature? Live small, walk down to the end of the street to the bakery, the butcher shop, the fresh food store. Then walk a little further to grab a coffee for you and hot chocolate for the little ones.
All without a mini-van!