Kids crunch and slide and skiff on snow,
Scream and squawk and slip below
I listen for the blue jay's cry,
Woodpecker's scarlet I squint to spy,
But they unconsciously disrupt.
I raise my specs toward limb and branch,
"Caw" and powdery dust, evidence,
But it's gone with a squeal from behind.
I spin around, retreat in loss.
Forthcoming days birds and I will cross
Quiet paths, when children mind.
Disappointed in my lack of treasure,
But by what standard had I measured
That which brings delight?
With laughter and breathless wonder
Children clomp heavy to their mother,
Who embraces richest prize!
By: Heather Vanderkruk
I don't know what I'm thinking when I take those kiddos birding with me. What I do know is that at the end of every noisy, frustrating, bird-less hike, I learn what my real prize is... them :)