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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

raise an egg and your hope

While walking around our neighborhood lake, my daughter found an egg near the road, far from all the nests. It seemed abandoned, no doubt by the duck who laid it and knew it to be a dud. So, the nature, animal loving nymph immediately asked to bring it home and raise it.

I am not sure that I can rightly claim the title of "unschooler," but one big thing I have gleaned from the philosophy is to make "yes" automatic. By saying yes, we do not close down opportunities that might be inconvenient or nontraditional and have had so many adventures because of it. So, even though I was tired and worried that the egg would explode and stink up my house.... I said "Yes! See what you can do, and let me know how I can help you."

She carried the egg gently, trying to keep it warm in her hands (I did say, "no" when she asked me to pop it in my bra for safe keeping). When we got home, she found and cleaned an old tank,  hooked up a heat lamp, researched the appropriate temperature, made a nest and watched. (We also looked at the egg with a light and knew it was empty and nothing would hatch from it.)

The egg has been there for nearly two weeks now. She turns it three times a day, and adds to its nest frequently.  She is smart and knows it is not going to hatch, but she also loves magic and the improbable. And some times those things need an incubator too. I wonder how many times we as parents take away the opportunity to wonder and dream because we insist on practically and reason. Kids are a great reminder that we can actively choose to participate in fantasy for no other reason than the joy of it.

What have you been incubating lately?

*Have you read The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth? It is good! And definitely fueled some of the imaginative play around this more moderately sized egg.


  1. I see we are very like minded at times. I also do similar things with my daughter. Specially, when she asks for things that are not the traditional way in which they tend happen. But I too say - what the heck? Let's give it a try! (Most times) :)

  2. Such a beautiful little interaction. So glad that you said "yes".


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