Mommy and Me in the Woods

I frequently go on mommy and me dates with each of my daughters.  Usually it’s to the bookstore, but yesterday it was to our local arboretum.   They had an Art in the Park day and I went with middle daughter, K (7). They had local artisans come out and sell their art and they had fun activities for children.

But let me preface with what really occurred first.

We drove 45 minutes to get to the Arboretum and paid $10 to get in. When we first got out of the car, and all she saw was a line of tents of artists and some grassy fields beyond…she immediately exclaimed, true to her difficult-to-please disposition, “This is BORING! There are no kids here! I want to go HOME!” in that high-pitched whine she has perfected over the years. And as my hackles begin to rise in typical response to her whines…I tried, really hard, not to get too frustrated despite the anxious tightening behind my solar plexus.

I took a deep breath and said, “Come on honey, let’s give this a chance. We aren’t here for the art. Let’s take a walk by the pond, at the very least. There’s an indoor bathroom nearby and I really need to go.”

We walked a while and when we came to the pond, I handed over the camera to let K take some photographs.

K took these three shots:




Then we went into the woods.



It was warm so we had some water play in the rose garden (no roses yet to take photos of).





They had art activities for the children while we listened to a guitarist play.



Interestingly enough, he was playing a song from Santana’s album Abraxas, which, if you are familiar with my favorite German author Herman Hesse’s works, you’d recognize that Abraxas is a nod to the novel, Demian.


It also turned out that they opened up the newly constructed train garden.


Middle daughter and I were oohing and ahhing over the luscious details:


We had been given a personal tour and we were told that right there is where they are going to add a Civil War figures to represent a battle in Tennessee.  I found this most interesting because just the day before, we went to a Civil War re-enactment.

When I asked him if it was any battle in particular, he said he didn’t know which one. It will be interesting to find out. Are there any Civil War buffs out there that might know of any battles near a canyon?


Needless to say, in the end, she told me she had SO MUCH FUN and wants to go back!

As for me, after waking up to hear another devastating tornado ripped through the southern states, will gladly put my whining child’s difficulties into a broader perspective.

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4 Responses to Mommy and Me in the Woods

  1. Phil says:

    Beautiful pictures one and all. Looks like K has a great eye for photos as well as her mom. All in all it seems as though Mommy and Me was a memorable day. I love the train garden – lots of incredible detail.

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I would agree and I think I just might need to allow K to take more photographs in the future.

    There were about 5 town scenes – a coal mining town, a limestone quarry, the one above, and a farm area with a herd of wild bison near a watering hole, and one where Lincoln’s funeral train came to a local town that I can’t remember the name of now.

    They had water features too. A couple of waterfalls. Hmm…I think I might need to come back and add more photographs.

    K kept noticing at every scene there was a dog somewhere. “Oh, look, mom…there’s another dog.” Is what I kept hearing over and over again.

    Oh, and what was really cool was the fact that I knew more about trains from recently having watched a few episodes of Wild West Tech on the History Channel.

    Most definitely it was a very memorable Mommy and Me Day.

  3. Fran says:

    I’m glad you were patient and persistent – I have often experienced that response from my own kids and my students “This is boring…..” before they have even really checked something out. Usually if I persist in a gentle way (as you did) they come around, and then I can’t get them to leave. Sounds like it turned out to be a truly lovely day (and the pics were lovely as well!)

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Thank you. Yes, it did turn around, and it turned out to be more beautiful than I had hoped.

    It’s good to know that this resistance isn’t atypical. I’ll have to remember that for the next time she balks at something like this.

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