This is another installment in my (sixth) Week of Lists: one fun and awesome list posted every day for seven days on a variety of topics.
As spring ramps into gear and one becomes more and more inclined to venture into the outdoors, it maybe tempting for dads to scoot their kids off in the direction of the playground or next door to bother the neighbors. But spring in a great time to set some family goals and to involve the kids in a whole variety of spring plans.
Why not set some goals for the summer? Here are five of mine.
Five Awesome Dad Goals for Springtime
1 : Inspect the Yard Together
The yard tends to be a mess as the snow melts. For example, in our backyard right now are (a) a couple rotting pumpkins left over from halloween, (b) a few last remnants of a winter’s worth of doggy dirt, (c) a lot of dead twigs and plant matter that didn’t make it into the compost prior to the first snow, and (d) lots of stray bits, bobs, and other miscellany left behind in the autumn. I’ve had Claire help out over the past week, holding the garbage bags as I scoop a few remaining leaves. She’s been doing a bit of raking. She’s been in the garden poking at the soil and identifying early weeds. And we’ve been plucking rocks (aka, snowman eyes) out of the grass wherever we find them. She’s been a big help in doing the annual spring roundup of the yard chores this spring.
2 : Hang a Birdhouse
Winter crafts being what they are, we now have a fully painted birdhouse sitting on the kitchen counter. I had nothing to do with that, but I will be deeply involved in making sure it finds a sturdy, secure, and sheltered home somewhere in the backyard.
We’ve primed for this over the past couple years, but this time –grade one– it’s the real deal: she’s getting her own garden. We’ve plotted off a bit of the garden box, some prime real estate with some quality dirt, and each year she’s “helped” to plant and maintain it with a few handfuls of carrots or scrubs of lettuce. I’ve ended up doing most of the work. Not this year. This year it’s for reals. She’s getting a trowel, some seeds, and… we’re gonna see what grows, I guess.
4 : Pick Up Trash
The neighborhood is a mess. This one won’t wait much longer, but one day soon I’m hoping to take her out for a stroll with a garbage bag and clean up some of the places we hang out.
5 : Plan a Backyard Camp-Out
it seems like everyone goes camping on May long weekend. We don’t bother, but by then –fingers crossed for the weather– perhaps the yard will be dry enough, and the temperatures warm enough that we can kick off a good strong season of backyard, long-weekend, tenting. I’m not an RV-guy, and I’ve lately found myself really turned off by the whole notion of “camping” as it’s become, but I still hold a deep love for backpacking and tenting and roughing it: those habits are going to start soon with some tent-skills and some outdoor camping experience in our own backyard. This is the year.