Monday, July 13, 2020

Another firefly walk

Zoë was writing stories this afternoon and although she knows how to spell a surprising number of words, there were a few she couldn't quite sound out. So she'd ask me how to spell something and then would run off and write for a while before coming to ask me how to spell something else.

Alexander, who enjoys copying the behaviour of his older siblings (which is good when it's good and bad when it's bad), started asking me how to spell words as well. He doesn't know how to spell any words, though, so he asked me how to spell every word he wanted to spell. 

"Mom, how do you spell I?" he asked. 

"I," I told him.

He ran off and scribbled on his paper for a minute and then ran back to me.

"How do you spell want?"

"W-A-N-T," I said. 

"Oh. W-A-N-T," he repeated faithfully before running off to scribble on his paper again. He was back a few seconds later with "How do you spell to?"

"How do you spell on?"


"How do you spell a?"


"How do you spell firefly?"


"How do you spell walk?"


He came back to me with his paper and said, "Now what does this spell?"

"I want to go on a firefly walk," I said. 

"Yes!" he said. "Okay! I want to go on a firefly walk, too!"

That little tricky boy! He's been begging to go on firefly walks the past few evenings but it's always been rainy or the kids have been too tired (last night, for example, Zoë kept tripping on our family walk; she was so covered in road rash that I didn't think it would be a good idea to keep her up for a firefly walk even though it was our first clear evening for several nights in a row). So when Alexander noticed the sky start to pink into a firefly sunset, we quickly got ready to head outside for a firefly walk (which, of course, our neighbours all call lightning bugs).

Here are some squeals of delight from the kids after they caught their first firefly of the evening  (also, Alexander's running melts me):

Alexander had been screaming, "Come to me! Come to me!" shortly before I started filming and I really wanted him to say it again, but he wouldn't.

This next video really showcases how noisy our summer evenings have gotten:

Between the cicadas, katydids, and's a real racket! We hear owls sometimes, and coyotes, too. But tonight it was just the bugs and frogs.

This video was one I filmed so that I could work out what Alexander was singing later, but I should have just asked my on-site translator, Zoë, to help me out. She understands so much more of what he says (for example, at some point in the video he says something about his bat friends, which I totally didn't catch until Zoë repeated what he had said in plain English):

Anyway, we were skipping along holding hands and he was singing, "I bwaitor bat, I fitor bwat! I bwaitor bat, I fitor bwat!" and for the life of me I could not figure out what he was singing about, but Zoë knew!

I guess the mythology of "Don't step on a crack or you'll break your mother's back," has morphed into a breaking and fixing game for those two. So instead of avoiding the cracks and singing the rhyme I grew up singing they purposely step on the cracks and sing, "I break your back, I fix your back, I break your back, I fix your back!" in kind of an "He loves me, he loves me not," fashion, hoping to land on a "fix your back" crack rather than a "break your back" crack. Which is thoughtful of them (I like my back).

It was another lovely firefly sunset kind of evening!

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