Thursday the 6th was Waitangi Day here in New Zealand, which meant it was a public holiday and Simon was home. Home schooling friends of ours – hell, they are practically family! lol – invited us to go on a family bush walk around Barrett Domain. The weather was beautiful, so we packed a picnic lunch and off we went!
Normally when we have been there before, we’ve just taken the main track to the lagoon due to small legs and arms which got tired from carrying small folk, but this time we took the first exit off onto the ‘lagoon bush walk’ and took the longest route to the lagoon. The kids had a great time looking at everything – trees, spider webs, berries and leaves that had dropped on the ground. Lauren is my little collector and by the time we’d made it to the lake I had a sample of leaves, pods and feathers in my pocket.
We stopped several times to admire the shapes of the trees and see the massive spiderwebs among the roots, but the kids mostly seemed to be enjoying running/fast walking along the paths. And the kids stopped at every sign to make decisions about which way we’d go – up or down, left or right, it was really nice to be able to give the kids some control over the decision making, knowing that no matter what the choice, the walk wouldn’t be too hard or too long for them.
While we ate lunch the kids looked out across the lagoon, taking note of the insect and bird life they could see, and thinking about what kind of animals might live there that we couldn’t see. It was a really nice outing, and I love that my kids have such amazing friends – it’s not often that you can find such a good match for your family, for both kids and adults, and I think we hit the jack pot with the Rata’s (who I have just noticed have their own post up! lol great minds).
I think my favourite moment of the day was when Lauren found a skull on the ground. She’s a very girly girl, but she grabbed it without a second thought, and held it up excitedly! I was excited for her and I love the fact that she went straight for it, no worries about it being dirty or anything. We put it in one of the empty lunch bags to bring home and she showed it off to the other kids. We’re planning on looking up skull shapes to identify what it is, and in the meantime it’s been cleaned and it sitting on the window sill.