Apr 22, 2009

Eating Aliens and Flower Worship

Ah, the things we do to get food inside our children. Especially nutritious left-overs for lunch. Pictured here: oatmeal-millet-egg pancakes, green stinging-nettle sauce, yogurt, carrots (organic but from California - shame on me!), snap peas and cheese.

The boys have been loving eating wild food, claiming it makes them stronger. Raw stinging nettle (picked on the top side and folded, then rubbed to neutralize the stinging poison before chewing), dandelion leaves, and blue violet petals. Dandelion flowers have become the war paint of choice, bringing jaundiced-looking kids to the table each evening. Tomorrow we'll dip dandelion flowers in egg and cornmeal then fry them for our snack.

We don't just eat flowers, we worship them. Especially Galen, who tours the land hourly to find new varieties in this our first season of discovery here. We skip down the driveway hand-in-hand to show me how much more the red tulip has opened up, and then runs off to inspect all the tulips in the forest to see what colours they will open into. He picks and arranges new bouquets daily for our table, his teacher, the doctor's office, the cars parked in our driveway for Sarah's Mama Renew class... This is a world that feels healthy for these boys to grow into.

Last week we visited dear friends in Vancouver, and ended up hanging out in the paved alley for a fun long playtime together with 3 other neighbour kids and their moms. It was wonderfully similar to the easy in-and-out we have with the neighbours here, such a healthy vibrant feeling of community, and yet such a vastly different physical environment. I had to jump over fences into three different neighbour yards to retrieve rockets and balls, hoping their Beware of Dog signs weren't for real.

I celebrate my friends' ability to create a great social environment, and the beautiful child they are raising. There are as many healthy ways to raise a family as their are families, and within any chosen path there are advantages and disadvantages. I fully respect that not everyone can or wants to or should live in the country - just feeling thankful for the experiences that this particular garden path we've chosen has created for our children, and how they are opening daily to embrace it and live it fully.

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