I've mentioned our little natural history museum before, so I thought it was about time to explain it a bit more and show you what we've got in there.
Before we bought our house, probably at least fifty years ago, someone added two rooms onto the back. So, what was once the back door, is now a doorway between the kitchen and the den. However, the back door must have had one of those rectangular windows on the side, because they left an awkward rectangular hole next to the doorway. For Valentine's Day this year Clay surprised me by turning it into a little glass cabinet designed to display all the treasures we find.
Sam and I found these pretty robin's egg shells this spring while out on a walk. And for Clayton's last birthday I ordered several of these bugs for him. This was before we had the museum. They came all the way from China in a paper-wrapped box, tied with twine and covered with stamps.
Sam and I brought home tons of treasures from the ocean in Maine. He loved collecting handfuls of 'nai' (snails) and Clayton requested I bring back a lobster claw. My dad found a box of old shells at an auction for us, that's where the big conch is from.
Sam already thinks the museum is rad. He'll often ask to be picked up and point to what he wants to look at or hold; bu' (bug), 'nai,' rah (rock). I think treating these things as something special will help Sam to have an appreciation for the natural world and to maintain his keen eye for little details, that we so often lose as we get older. It helps me remember to look and appreciate things more when we're outside hiking. I even look at rocks and branches and "normal" things differently, considering that perhaps I might uncover something perfect for the museum. Clayton brought home four round, flat stones that look so lovely stacked on top of each other, and Sam and I collected some prickly seed pods from the library lawn that have the most interesting texture. I love the feeling that natural elements brings into our home. I hope we have a natural history museum in every house we live in.