Now, this is kind of a ridiculous post. Mostly because our school days aren’t well defined, and I am always so adamant about not trying to recreate school at home. Nevertheless, I think we should celebrate the fact that we have made it through roughly…give or take a day, or two, or five…somewhere in the vicinity of ONE HUNDRED days of learning.
So I thought I’d do something super amazing for the girls to celebrate. I searched Pinterest. I tried to come up with a clever scavenger hunt using 100 items. I thought I’d set it up before the girls went to bed. I was a bit frantic the night before, trying to come up with ideas that I could pull off before sunrise. Then I remembered that I am taking 15 college credits and I’m exactly one scavenger hunt from full mental breakdown. So I decided (wisely) against it and went to bed.
Today, however, dawned glorious nonetheless. The weather was stunning, the girls were in impeccable moods, and I felt like still doing something to commemorate the day. So I suggested that we walk to Shelby Park.
It should only take about 37 minutes (give or take a little) each way. Totally manageable. With two children. Right??
A little bit into our walk, Amelie noticed something bizarre on the ground. It was someone’s hair extension. I’m no stranger to the clip-in hair extension, let me say that right now. So no judgement from me. But to my knowledge I have never lost any of these items off of my head in the middle of the street. This is the SECOND time I have seen a hair extension in the middle of the road or parking lot since living in Nashville. Of course, I had to laugh OUT loud a few days later when I read my friend Maggie’s blog post about the same phenomenon and her working theory behind it.
We also saw a shoe and a towel in the road. This is when the epiphany hit. What if we documented 100 CRAZY things we found on our walk? I only came prepared with an iPod touch that was nearly out of battery, but nevertheless I tried to take pictures and type as we walked.
But the impromptu “scavenger hunt” went from exciting to depressing very quickly as we observed the exorbitant amount of trash on the sides of the road. Then came epiphany #2, collect 100 pieces of trash. BOOM. Ecology/Community Service for the day.
That’s when another friend joined our walk, and his mom (thank goodness) gave us bags to collect the trash with. But then there were three kids to manage, all of whom wanted to stop and pick onion grass at every opportunity and this slowed down Google’s estimated travel time significantly.
By the time we arrived at the park–AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER–we had three full bags of trash.
I learned some interesting things about east Nashville. Apparently, the side of a suburban road is a perfectly fine place to dispose of any and all kinds of trash, including but not limited to:
- Unwrapped feminine hygiene products (“DROP THAT RIGHT NOW!”, I yelled at one point)
- Tiny bottles of alcohol
- Ginormous bottles of alcohol
- About 198,734,598,792 cartons of cigarettes
- Hair piece
- Not much else
It was a relief to arrive at the beautiful nature park, and also to find a bathroom with soap and water for rigorous hand washing. The rest of the day the girls spent playing among trees, in sand, and with their friends. We stayed at the park for three hours! Sera found this wood that had been chewed on by a beaver:
After all of our friends had driven home in their cars, and after several reassurances from me, “No, we’re fine! We walked here, we can walk home. We don’t need a ride!” I realized that I didn’t really want to walk home. So I just delayed the inevitable and we kept on playing.
The girls made friends with a toddler who was trying to drive her little plastic car down a board. They decided to help her…and so, naturally, they built a track.
The little girl’s mom kept saying, “What engineers you are!” And I mentally added “Engineering” to the list of subjects we had covered so far–along with P.E., Ecology, Community Service, and a little bit of inadvertent “Trashy” Sex Education (ahem).
By the time we walked an hour home it was getting dark and we saw some friends of ours playing outside in their yard. This was a short way to our house, so we stopped to visit. It was so great catching up with old friends and also resting our tired legs. Josh was coming home with the car right at that time, and he wound up driving us the rest of the way.
All in all, it was an amazing day–trash aside–and a “100th” day of school they will likely never forget.