Friday, November 27, 2009

11/27/09 Do-nothing day

I got up shamefully late today, feeling like I'd earned a serious sleep-in morning, and planning to do nothing today.

Well, almost nothing. When my body is allowed to get the sleep it needs, when it needs it, it is energized, and I felt the need to exercise. I was all set to take all three kids to the Y, since they needed to get out too, but the Y closed at noon today.

All dressed up with nowhere to go, three kids in desperate need of getting out of the house, and rain looming. At the last second, I decided to take them to a trail by the baylands. It's right by the city water treatment plant, so it's not exactly close to nature, but it does have some neat bird habitat and trails to get some energy out on. On the principle that any outing is better than none, we headed for the bay.

First the boys found a short trail going up...somewhere, but, nowhere.

Yep, get that energy out here!

We turned around at the hilltop and then went on to another hill I've run by before but never explored.

Gabriel brought along his little video camera that Uncle Ronan gave him, that also takes pictures. Suddenly he's turned into Mr. Photographer.

At the top of another hill, Katrina was finally persuaded to put a jacket on. On windy cold days I insist kids bring a jacket, but actually wearing it isn't a fight I pick. The temperature usually takes care of that on its own.

These levees are good running trails if you're looking for flat, though this area can be windy and sometimes not smell so great. But though I miss hills (the little ones we were on today are much too short to count as a running hill), I love the isolation and the views.

Today we saw a pelican landing in the water, and even dive it once. Pelicans are my favorite bird, they're fascinating to watch. I liked telling the boys about the flocks of pelicans I saw in Baja, and how big they are.

We also walked along part of the trail that heads to another park, and this trail had a lot of descriptive signs on it, showing the history of the water treatment plant, and also birds and plantlife along the way. I'm surprised how much the boys like looking at signs, but I run with it and we talk a lot about the information on them and try to relate it to what we see around us. I'm not deliberately looking for "teachable moments," but they sort of come up on their own. I take my cues from their own curiosity and questions, though -- sometimes all they want to talk about the color of poop. I'm still very put off by the idea that play and fun must have an educational element -- it often does, but geez, we're just out to get some fresh air. Let the fun -- and the education -- just happen. And it "just happens" a lot.

Given that I'd planned for today to be completely lazy, this was a rather ambitious outing. It was perfect: nearby, easy to get in and out of, outdoors, plenty of room to run and stretch, lots to see and talk about. Just what we all needed to do on a do-nothing day.


No comments: