Friday, May 11, 2007

Love of Nature...Is it nature or nurture?

My Daughter LOVES to be outside. She thrives in nature. Her curiosity while out of doors is insatiable. She is a go getter....and just can't seem to see, hear, smell, and touch enough new things. It has me wondering....is it nature or nurture that is making her so enthralled with NATURE?

I think it is worthy to note that Sugar Bear is not as exuberant in other settings. In fact, when she is presented with a situation where PEOPLE are involved she is an entirely different child. When in the presence of people that she doesn't know very well, or hasn't seen for quite some time, she is extremely withdrawn and shy. She sits quietly, and simply takes everything in. She hardly speaks, and doesn't want people to look at her or speak to her for at least 15 to 30 minutes. After that period of time, she will slowly open up, but it could be hours and hours before I see actually start behaving like she would if only I were around. Sugar Bear has been this way since about one year of age.

You get this girl outside though...and she will try and do just about anything. She loves animals, and shows nearly no fear of them. She will stand on a hay bale and yell out, "Hi Cows!", and if we let her, she just might crawl over the feed trough and climb right up on a cow. She readily explores her outdoor environment and doesn't ever shy away from a creature she spies. She loves insects and can spend hours playing with her favorite, ladybugs. She isn't afraid to pick up caterpillars, and slugs.....umm yeah, by the way, does anyone have a good solution to removing slug slime off hands? Man that stuff is industrial. Where was I? Oh yes....she marvels at birds, butterflies, and is the resident champion chicken chaser. We have two bunnies in our yard that she regularly runs down until they are too tired to flee, then she triumphantly strokes their soft fur. She yells "bye Goats" as we pass them every morning on our way into town, and she yells "Hi Goats" as we come back. She never tires of the experiences that nature has to offer, and I have yet to see her shy away from it.

Not all children are like this. My nieces for instance, are not so thrilled with the creatures that roam our planet. Those same chickens that Sugar Bear just can't seem to get close enough to, had better not get within 10 feet of my niece Sara. Those same bugs that my daughter wants to hold and talk to, are best when stomped under foot if you ask my niece K. However, neither K nor S have ever shown any hesitation when it comes to people. They thrive in the presence of an audience. This all just gets me wondering....why is Sugar Bear a "Nature Girl", and my nieces "People People"? Is it something we did, said or encouraged? or were they just destined to be this way?

All I do know is that I somehow find myself encouraging Sugar Bear's interest in the creatures of nature, yet I embrace and validate her apprehension around people. I challenge her to see new things, and I get giddy when a new opportunity to experience a new form a nature presents itself to us. However, I never push nor encourage her to be more bold with those folk whom she isn't ready. So am I creating who she is becoming? or is she already there?

The pictures I wanted to share with this post I took while my nieces were at our house visiting. We were playing outside when I spied a young frog jumping in the grass. Sugar Bear had only seen a frog in books and on her Baby Einstein videos, so I was eager to catch it and show her.




Sugar Bear was instantly delighted, and she quickly asked to hold it. I had to tire the poor thing out before it would finally stay in her hand long enough for her to really experience it....and for me to get a picture.




K, seeing that Sugar had held the frog, and survived, wanted to give it a try. Both her mother and I were so surprised. K actually held the frog for a few seconds, before it jumped toward her and her squeal could have been heard for miles. :)



At that point it was a loss cause trying to get S to hold it.



This event was nearly 2 months ago...but Sugar Bear still talks about the day we caught the frog. In that moment....we were living....and loving every minute of it!

14 Live It or Love It:

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Jules said...

Ooooh I love love love the vibrant green of the frog!!! Beautiful! The banner looks fantastic too! Great work!

By the way, I tagged you with a new topic too!! :)

Sara said...
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Lori said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yan said...

OMG, I love your blog's new look !!
I love the pictures, the colors are just so vibrant !

Ingrid said...
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Keara said...

I love this! Lori is so right. She is learning to love nature from you. I think it is great!

Sara said...
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Corey said...

awwwwwwwwww I love that commercial Sara. Thank you! :)

Corey~living and loving said...

Sara said...
It is so wonderful that Sugar loves nature so much! Maybe it is in her destiny to work with animals.

And I love all the pics! Great job photographing the moment of living.

Corey~living and loving said...

Lori said...
Great pictures! I think you found your answer within your post- Sugar loves nature because she sees you love nature. I'm sure you don't go around stomping on bugs, so she doesn't. They soak up so much, even things we don't think they will. She's learning from example. As she gets older and around more children i.e. school, she will probably change a little. Spiders and bugs might scare her, bc that's what she learns from her friends. They are influenced by so many outside forces. But, you are the bestest mommy out there and I'm sure that no matter who else tries to influence her she will always come back to what YOU've taught her.

Corey~living and loving said...

Lori said...
Great pictures! I think you found your answer within your post- Sugar loves nature because she sees you love nature. I'm sure you don't go around stomping on bugs, so she doesn't. They soak up so much, even things we don't think they will. She's learning from example. As she gets older and around more children i.e. school, she will probably change a little. Spiders and bugs might scare her, bc that's what she learns from her friends. They are influenced by so many outside forces. But, you are the bestest mommy out there and I'm sure that no matter who else tries to influence her she will always come back to what YOU've taught her.

Corey~living and loving said...

Ingrid said...
The pictures are lovely, and what a wonderful thing for Sugar to be such a a nature lover.

Nice new look too.

Corey~living and loving said...

Sara said...
I just saw one of the Johnson and Johnson's ads about "having a baby changes everything." It was the one with the little boys and their dad checking out the frogs. The little boy squealed when he touched it. It made me think of Sugar and her frogs. So, I'm thinkin' about you today. :D

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