I love my job, I really do, but with the dog days of summer winding down and the realization that Christmas is only 4 months away. I really want to be on the outside of this building not on the inside. Today is the last day of the year I will get a parking place close to the building; It is the last day of the year I can take a quick walk outside and actually have the sidewalk to myself. Today is the end of the summer for us here at the University I work for. Monday morning freshmen will be wandering the sidewalks desperate to find the building of the class they are late for. The air will be charged and the excitement will penetrate the campus. Today though we all are wishing for just one more lazy day of summer.
Today as Kate and I sat and cuddled enjoying our morning bottle I noticed her studying me so intently, at 4 months she is trying hard to figure out this world. I told her I wish I knew the thoughts she was thinking before she had the words to share but those thoughts are going to have to wait until she is older. When we are babies, our brains are more open to the shaping hand of experience than at any time in our lives. In response to the demands of the world, the baby’s brain sculpts itself. Scientists have begun to understand how that happens, but as Neurologist Carla Shatz says, “There’s a great mystery left. Our memories and our hopes and our aspirations and who we love all of that is in there encoded in the circuits. But we only have the barest beginnings of an understanding about how the brain really works.” Later as I finished up some post processing work I could not help but look into the eyes of this little man….. he is further down the road than Kate in brain development but still his eyes say it all, let me go, let me explore, let me enjoy the treasures of being a child there is important work going on in my head.
I am saddened by the busy schedules families keep these days, the dependency on technology in our homes to babysit, and the lack of outdoor play areas young children have daily access too. Children are missing the joy and satisfaction of childhood. In many places it is not safe to allow children to play outdoors. When I was a little girl, I climbed trees, ice skated on homemade rinks, played outside with my friends from sun up to sun down, and made the yummiest mud pies just ask my brother. As an Early Childhood Specialist, I want all children to have the kinds of experiences I had as a child. It is critical we find ways to establish outdoor play spaces and provide all children with positive experiences in nature.
It has been an unusually hot and dry summer. It is sad seeing the crops and the vegetation burnt and brown. This past weekend we had a break and it was wonderful, with the break in the heat and the rain we had last week and yesterday hope springs eternal as seen in this shot made on the go proving with a little hope all things can bloom.
So it happened yesterday evening!! The dreaded I65N parking lot, everything a complete stand still, while somewhere ahead of me insurance cards were being exchanged and wreckers were making a little more money. I’m lucky, I don’t have to spend an entire evening parked often, but after 30 minutes I was beginning to get a little…well…you know…bored. So I began the best traffic jam activity ever, PEOPLE WATCHING. There were makeup artists, teeth-checkers, air-drummers, lovebirds, anger management class candidates, singers, dozers (follow the honking horns) and other people-watchers. I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of shots just as I was getting ready to climb out of the car and see what I could catch from the top of the hood………the slow roll began. Maybe next time.