This is the only picture I took today, but it represents a project that Saïd has been spearheading with the kids for a couple months now. I’m not sure what I would call it. It involves, hiking, orienteering, fire-making, and now shelter building. Survival skills?

He does it with whoever is around and wants to participate, and sometimes even the boy next door gets involved. But there’s only one person who is there every single time, only one person who gets ready early in the morning and swings on the tree swing until Daddy finishes his coffee and is ready to go. That person is Noah.

And when I think about it, this “thing” of woods exploration, building and survival skills is not new for Noah. This actually has been his project for a long time. He’s just not documenting it the way Zahra is documenting her bird project. He doesn’t keep a journal or sketch the treasures he finds. He has no desire to join an orienteering club. He doesn’t want to plot out a map of the woods or keep a chart taped to his window where he can note what he finds or what he does when he’s there, with what frequency. He’s not eloquent enough yet to describe these activities as a project. He just wants to live his project.

And for six-years-going-on-seven, that’s perfect.

Zahra’s birdwatching project is still going strong. Lately, she’s made several great sightings of woodpeckers, and we’re counting the days until the birdwatching club heads out on an expedition to spy the snowy owl. She found an English-language birdwatching field guide at the used book store, and we’re still keeping our eyes peeled for a good French one.

We saw several friends today and ended our evening with a game night. After an exciting attempt at world domination (Risk), we’ll all sleep well tonight!