The activity I had planned to attend for this week was cancelled, so I found myself on Saturday looking for something new to do. And as my husband was busy all morning, I wanted it to be something my boys wouldn’t mind doing with me. But we’d already done many of the kid-friendly holiday activities that were happening. Skating in Old Town? Check. Winter Farmers Market? Check. Tuba Christmas? Check. Plus, I was in the mood for something different. So, here’s what I came up with:
Me: “You guys want to come learn about fish with me?”
Me: “It’s a short talk about the fish that live in this area.” (It may be worth noting that no one in my family fishes and therefore would probably encounter said local fish only by falling in a lake or river. Which I won’t rule out, especially in my case.)
Older son, giving me the ‘are you serious?’ look: “I’ve been in school all week, and now you want me to go to fish school?”
We then entered a lengthy period of negotiation and finally agreed on a plan: we would get take-out for lunch, learn about fish, and then have Walrus Ice Cream for dessert. My younger son also lobbied for toy shopping, but, as the mother fish say, I wasn’t biting. But when we got our sandwiches and arrived at the City building, it was as locked-up and empty as any sane person would expect a government building to be on the weekend. After trying every door twice, we all assumed that I had made a mistake and there would be no fish school for us.
We found a sunny picnic table north of the City building and had lunch. While we were eating, we noticed a stone labyrinth below us, the path covered in a layer of near-pristine snow. Having discovered something new, of course we had to walk it. True to his direct nature, my younger son cut straight across from the edge to the middle and back again. My older son and I took the long way, following each curve in and out. We weren’t exactly meditative as we walked, but I see nothing wrong with having a little fun in a labyrinth on a sunny December day.
If I would have checked the City’s calendar instead of the one I used, I’d have seen that the class is actually on the 16th. But without that small error, I would have missed some great quality time with my boys. And Walrus’s Egg Nog ice cream.