Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl

Last night was Dear Daughter's birthday slumber party. As birthday slumber parties go, it went rather well. We had a small but select group of kids (totaling six, including the Birthday Girl) and rented a small cabin near the base where I work. These cabins used to be officer housing, so properly titled, they're really small houses, but they're remote enough to be exciting, but modern enough to be convenient.

We were right next door to the base stables, and in the late evening the herd of horses came over by the house. The kids were delighted to see them, and given that it was a lovely, brisk fall evening, the horses were frisky and enchanting.

Today, we were just tired. Even the best slumber party (and this one ranked pretty high up there) can leave you simply exhausted. Combine it with the end of Daylight Savings Time, and you have a recipe for a long, tiring day.

Dear Daughter and I took a nap in the early afternoon, and upon awakening, we headed for a local park to throw bread to the most ungrateful gaggle of Canada geese we've ever met, followed by a tramp amongst the trees. We walked and talked in the autumn afternoon sunshine and I realized there's really not much that beats a quiet walk in nature with someone you love, whether it's your dear child or your dear loved one or a dear friend. We looked at trees and talked about the differences between fruit and nut trees. We picked up some litter. We looked at birds.

We took turns using the camera, and twice while she was shooting, I whipped out the cell phone and caught her in full artistic action. I love watching her frame up shots and hearing what's important to her. Her mind works so beautifully and quickly when we're outdoors. I would give so much to be able to chuck my job and home school her, outdoors as much as possible.

Anyway, here are two shots from the day. What a great one it was.

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