Today is another beautiful spring day and we enjoyed a good part of the morning outside playing. I bought some plastic eggs yesterday and they provided the morning full of entertainment. We tried a game blowing the eggs from one line to the other, but only Jack and I were successful in the endeavor and it wasn’t met with a great deal of enthusiasm. Next we tossed the eggs to see who could get them to land in a circle and this went better. The boys then started filling the eggs with rocks and said they were baby Ewoks (There is no escaping Star Wars.) Next we scattered the eggs all over the yard and each person chose a color. The object was to toss the egg and hit another egg of the same color and in this way collect all your eggs. Two things impressed me in the boys: the honesty they showed (even though we were all working at the same time and they weren’t supervised if they got very close but didn’t touch the egg they tried again rather than decide it was close enough) and the perseverance, especially of Stephen who in spite of the difficulty of the task and the many misses wanted to complete the game. Two things also impressed me of myself, though not in a positive light: my impatience to move on to the next thing and my own inclination to want to declare it close enough when the goal had not been met. Once the game was completed we moved on to playing math games. If you got the write answer you got to pick an egg. If the egg had a rock, you got a fruit loop. Gabriel also participated, but he did colors and counting instead.
In the midst of the egg play, Stephen noticed a tiny spider crawling on the sidewalk and promptly stepped on it. I admonished him gently not to step on bugs if we were outside since that was their home and they weren’t hurting anything. Gabriel chimed in, “Charlotte Web dead?” I confirmed it was. I didn’t really think anything more about it until I turned to him again for his turn and found him with his head down crying softly looking at the squished spider. “I didn’t mean to squish it,” Stephen said with tears now flowing freely. I told him it was good to be sad when you hurt someone or something and we sat for a few minutes together. Isaac spotted another spider and the boys huddled around, careful not to touch it and watched it crawl, getting nervous when it stopped moving. They tried to feed it a fruit loop, though it wasn’t interested. Jack counted the legs-7 of them. I counted too but couldn’t find an 8th leg even with the magnifying glass. Isaac decided baby spiders must have 7 legs and they grow the 8th leg when they grow up. Even after several minutes of observation Stephen said, “What if that squished spider is this spider’s mama?” again distraught over causing the spider’s premature death. It was good for my heart to see this tenderness and concern and remorse, even if it was just for a spider. I think I might be in trouble though next time one comes in the house.