Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my son while my wife ran errands. I had some yard work to do, so I told Jack to put on his “mucky boots” (tall rubber boots) so he could help me stack some firewood which had been delivered months ago, but was never organized.
As you might expect, it’s hard to keep a 4-year-old interested in manual labor for very long, so he started to putter around the yard, jumping in the mud that resulted from the Noreaster that just blew through the area and finding all sorts of interesting stuff. He was starting to get mischievous, when I discovered that the damp environment under the wood pile had attracted a large number of earthworms.
I had found our father-son adventure for the day.
“Jack! Come look at all the worms! They’re going to need help finding new homes after I stack all the wood. Do you think you can do that?”
I told him that he was now the official Worm Relocation Specialist and that it was up to him to find a safe home for the worms.
As I removed more and more wood from the pile, I would stop and pick through the leaves and mulch to find more worms. Jack would ever-so-carefully pick them up and cup them in his hands, then lay them down near a pile of wet mulch near the fence and watch them wriggle their way into the moistness.
He and I had learned all about worms through many of the books that we’ve read recently, including the hilarious (and informative) Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.
As he continued to relocate the worms, he would recall things that we learned from our reading together like the fact that worms eat dirt and that worm poop is good for the soil and that worms can regenerate lost segments of their bodies…and other such worm facts.
We continued that for about two hours until my wife came home. He was so excited to tell her about our discovery and how we helped “save the worms.”
I’ll never forget it.