Today we took a walk around Fellsmere Pond here in Malden. It's a man-made pond with fountains, surrounded by trees, rocky hills, and Olmsted-type meandering paths. Alessia loves nature, which is a polite way of seeing she is a dirt monkey whom we should be raising in the country. She loves sticks and rocks, trees and bushes, ducks and geese, and dirt and mud. So, needless to say, she was having a grand time, wandering on and off the path and asking a million "what's that?" questions. About halfway around the pond, she jumped up to a tree "We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day. We're not scared. Uh, oh. A forest. A deep dark forest. We can't go over it. We can't go under it. We've got to go through it. Stumble trip. Stumble trip. Stumble trip." During that last bit she repeatedly "tripped" and through herself to the ground. All of a sudden the landscape was part of one of her favorite books, We're Going on a Bear Hunt.
Further along, "what's that?" Tall grass. And off she went again. "Uh, oh. Grass. Long wavy grass. We can't go over it...." A few steps in among the trees she sat on the remains of a stump. She plunged her hands into the dark earth. "Uh, oh. Mud. Thick, oozy mud. We can't go over it..." And finally the pond itself was noticed as part of the story. "Uh, oh. A river. A deep, cold river. We can't go over it..."
This is what I love about spending time with a two-year-old. The first time we visited this pond, Alessia picked up about hundred different sticks and noted the various sizes - little, big, reeeaaally big, teeny tiny. Today the pond became the setting of a favorite book, and there is no way to know what the pond will look like next time we go.