Okay, be careful what you do. I post a few photos of interesting neighborhood birds on our NextDoor app and have several nature photos that are published each month in a local magazine. I try to include tidbits of interesting facts about the birds that I’ve learned along the way (or Googled). So I get this message asking if I would do a kids bird program for the neighborhood since I am the “resident expert”. The what???? I’m so not an expert. Okay I know about 100% more than when I started “birding” a couple of years ago, but 100% of almost zero is not much! And what did I do? I said yes. What was I thinking?
You’re thinking, they’re kids, how hard can that be? And yes, you’re probably right. But what you don’t know about me is that I’m terrified of children. Okay, not in the “they are going to kill me” way, but in the “I have no idea how to talk them” way. Sure, I had a kid of my own
(well, I still have him, but he’s 32 and long gone from home), and you think that would be enough, but I’m just not that good at kids. I’m having flashbacks of chaperoning a first grade field trip to the zoo. I was responsible for like a 100 kids (okay, it was 6 assigned to me). I clung to my son, JT, and begged him to tell me what to do. You see, they all looked alike and it didn’t help that the teachers had them all wear their matching school T-shirts. It didn’t matter that it was a diverse group of kids with regard to color - black, white, brown - they ALL LOOKED ALIKE to me. How did I know which 6 were mine?
Ah, but I know, I digress from my Neighborhood Kids Bird Program. Ages 5 and up are invited. Age 5! Don’t they have the attention span of a gnat? Then on the other hand, a darling 7 year old of my dear friends who I love, expanded my vocabulary last week when she complimented the ombre of my insulated wine glass
(everyone has one of those, right?).
I tried to be really cool while I searched my brain for the word ombre. Finally I casually asked this 7 year old, who is clearly smarter than me, if that was a color. She patiently explained that it is color that is graduated in tone and described her favorite shade of ombre. Gnats, ombre, they all look alike - what have I done?? So while I’m pulling together photos to demonstrate the differences between male and female birds, and juvenile and adult birds, and migration habits, and woodpecker tongues, and fecal sacs to keep nests clean, I’m wondering what will really hold their interest. What do kids 5 to 12 really care about? Please offer me advice!!
Oh, and if it wasn’t bad enough… I agreed to host it at my house.