maize maze

We went to a maize maze a couple of weeks ago with some of our other homeschooling friends. When April invited me and said “maize maze,” I think I might’ve looked at her strangely for a moment, as I don’t usually use the word “maize” but rather “corn.” When it finally clicked, I jumped at the chance because I’ve never been to a corn maze before. Actually, I’ve never even really been to a farm. I’ve been to the Riverdale Farm in Toronto twice, but I don’t really count that as a true farm, beyond the fact that it’s got the usual farm animal crowd. It’s not a farm in the middle-of-nowhere, growing crops, raising animals sense. When I mentioned to Lucas how I’d never been to a farm, he seemed surprised and said I should’ve told him sooner and he could’ve taken me to one (um, where?). But it’s not like these things generally come up in the course of a relationship, unless you have kids who read books about farms and like animals.

Anyway, now I can say I’ve been an actual farm, the kind that grows food and possibly raises animals. The maze itself was pretty good. The older kids had sheets for a scavenger hunt, where they had to locate six items of farm equipment within the maze and identify and draw them for the grand prize of a large pumpkin. They found them all, except that no one (by that, I mean the adults) really knew what each of the items were (“um, it’s got some pokey bits, maybe it’s a plow?”). Raspberry’s visual renderings of the objects looked nothing like reality, so I think she wasn’t entirely into it. In fact, after we got home that day, I realized she didn’t even submit her sheet. Nonetheless, she still got the lollipop that’d been promised to all the participants upon completion of the hunt — I think she’d been motivated by that more than anything. But she still enjoyed the maze, so much so that she wanted to go back after lunch. Had we been on our own, I’d have been more than happy to take her. Actually, I’d have loved to have wandered around the maze at a leisurely pace when we were in there initially, but when there are ten children between the ages of zero to five, I don’t think anything comes leisurely. Anyhow, we were with four other families and I felt weird going back when everyone else was hanging out and the kids were all on the playground. I know I should do my own thing (or really, go with what my kid’s interested in) rather than go with the flow, but I felt obligated to present some sense of normalcy, especially since I didn’t know three of those families well. In hindsight, I think they’d probably have understood but I guess I felt the social pressure to not do something un-ordinary (this is kind of the reason why I sometimes prefer going to places for the first time on my own — as in, without other families or kids. It’s just so that we can really indulge in a place at our own pace and not have to worry about others’ needs or wants. Yes, completely selfish, I know).

Raspberry doesn’t especially enjoy being around many kids (anything more than one or two) and spent a good portion of time playing by herself or watching the chickens in the coop. I’m not sure if she was reminded of the chickens we used to visit at the aviary in Westdale, but she fed them like she used to, picking fresh blades of grass and poking it through the cage. The chickens adored her and followed her back and forth, expecting more grass. I thought it was pretty cute, but at the same time I wished she would play with the other kids. While in the maze, I’d chatted a bit with Carrie and Lucy, both of whom I’d only met once before that day, and they seem like wonderful people. Since then, I’ve met up with them several more times, Carrie more than Lucy, and gotten to know them a bit more. It’s interesting how once September came around, all the homeschooling groups and events revved to life. It was like hardly anything was happening during the summer, even though in my mind, homeschooling is year-round. When we first moved here in December, it was hard finding groups and meeting people, probably because everything was already in full swing by then, so we’re really just getting into the community now, even though we’ve been at this for a year. It’s nice to be able to meet others who share the same ideals, but I find I have to mentally work harder to put myself out there because I’m not used to doing so. I think it’s a bit challenging for Raspberry too, to be surrounded by a number of kids at once, but it’s a learning and growing experience for her, as it is for me too. It also works out that we’ve had sufficient time to properly explore the local museums, so we can now branch out and do other things. I’m looking forward to the different, yet-unknown things in store for us.

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