The following post is written by Steady Mom's monthly contributor, Hillary.
Of course I have always noticed birds, but usually in the general context of, "Wow, I just saw a bird fly by!"
It wasn't until I met my husband that I noticed the birds.
But my husband would eagerly point out red-tailed hawks perched atop the trees as we coasted down the highway or cormorants fishing in the seaside waters of Newburyport, Massachusetts.
His enthusiasm left an impression on me and I started to pay attention to his stories and the information he had to share.
A few years ago while planning a move, my husband found an old bird identification book his grandfather had given to him as a boy.
I learned that it was his grandfather who sat with him at their rustic camp in New Hampshire and told him about the birds who came to feed at his grandmother's feeders.
He began identifying the birds around our home and our oldest son was completely enthralled with his father's knowledge. I watched my then three-year-old sit in the window looking for birds and running to get his father when he found one.
Together they would look through the book, finding the corresponding page and reading all about its characteristics, diet and habits.
This year I watch the three of them: my husband, five-year-old and two-year-old rhythmically fill the bird feeder and await the birds that come and go with the seasons.
I think of Joel's grandfather who passed away, yet gifted our family with a heartfelt interest, sense of enthusiasm and opportunity for learning.
Enthusiasm is contagious! Even when our children do not share similar interests we can still model head over heels, passionate love affairs with what speaks to us.
They will find their passions and hopefully feel unencumbered to let go and let loose with their unique and fantastic interests.
I recently enjoyed reading this post of Jamie's over at Simple Homeschool. It reminded me to mindfully continue my life's education--with the absolute awareness that modeling is the best way to encourage a lifelong journey of learning for our children.
When we allow our enthusiasm for passions and interests to shine it instills a deep and lasting impression on our little ones.Just ask my now five-year-old who informed me that a cardinal was somewhere hiding in the trees on an early spring walk through the neighborhood.
"I know," he said. "Because I heard its familiar call."
**What kinds of interests best showcase your enthusiasm for learning? What makes you buzz with excitement?**
Hillary is a thoughtful mother, loving wife, and a conscientious cook and consumer. She credits her two boys (& a baby on the way!) to her ever expansive knowledge base and blogs about mindful family living at infinitelearners.com.