Tuesday, January 10, 2023

They grow up too fast!

Items she collected on our walk
There's nothing sadder than watching the innocence of childhood come to an end. 

This weekend, while spending time with one of my granddaughters, I realized she's not a little girl any longer. 

At 9 years of age, the changes have come subtly but this weekend, as I watched her, I realized she's teetering on the edge of teenage life. 

I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with her. It isn't a lot, usually once a month and at major holidays and birthdays. I'd love to have more but I'll take what I can get at this point. 

We did a lot of things while she was here. I always try to find fun ways to keep her entertained without plopping her in front of the TV. 

The first thing we did was a science experiment. We talked about density, volume, and air. I used a bar of regular soap and a bar of Ivory soap to help give her a visual explanation. She laughed as we put the bar of regular soap in the bowl of water and it immediately sank to the bottom. Then, stood in awe watching the bar of Ivory float. Next, we took a bar of Ivory and put it in the microwave. I pulled up a chair so she could watch as the changes took place. Her eyes grew big as saucers as the soap began to expand filling my microwave with lush white clouds. When we took it out, I let her hold it. "It's light as a feather," she exclaimed. Then, I showed her how quickly the cloud would disappear if she crumbled it in her hands. The soap instantly became soap flakes. 

We went outside and did a nature walk where we discovered 5 garden slugs beneath the downspouts. She was intrigued with them and asked if we could pick them up. I found a piece of an old wooden slat and showed her how to gently lift a slug without harming it. 

She studied that slug for a long time, watching it move slowly across a piece of bark leaving a shiny, slimy trail. She looked up at me and said, "Gigi, do you know slugs are Gastropods?" I was amazed at this little one. Of course, she's very intelligent and loves to watch any and everything about nature, but she's always taken a special interest in insects and other small creatures since she was a tiny thing. 

I sat beside her and together we watched the slug maneuver his way up and then down the leaf of an Iris plant. Her eyes twinkled as she asked me how slugs move without any legs. I had a chance to teach her about the muscle contractions some animals and insects use and realized, though we were just outside enjoying nature, we were also having quite a homeschool lesson. 

We came inside after our adventure and I taught her how to make homemade play dough. I'd made it for her in the past but I'd always done all the measuring and cooking. This time, I allowed her that honor giving instructions as she worked. 

The precious memories we made that day are priceless. I know it won't be long before she won't care about taking nature walks with her Gigi and she'll be more interested in clothes and makeup than studying slugs. It makes me sad to think those days are coming to an end, but that's life. She has to grow up even if I don't want her to. 

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