There is one chipmunk who is always first to our feeders. I often find him sitting on the side stoop as I come around the house to put out seed. He's become braver over the past few months. He used to run when I looked at him. Now I have to avoid stepping on him because he will rush over before I finish filling the last feeder. I started tossing peanuts to him.
I call him Spot because of that little mark on his nose. (Note: Spot might be a girl, I can't tell)
Just like the blue jays that call to each other when I come out of the house with my cup full of seeds, Spot has figured out how to get first crack at the food. He watches and learns.
Other animals have also learned. I didn't get a photo, but yesterday a squirrel climbed up to our window to peer in. I was late bringing out food. I never put food on the sill or anywhere near it, but the squirrel figured out that I usually go in this place. Maybe it saw me inside, eating breakfast, and wanted to make sure I knew there was no seed.
Whether I have adapted to their habits or they have adapted to mine, or somewhere in between, these animals and I have learned from being around each other. Life has a rhythm in our daily routines and we follow that rhythm.
I look at the routines of our family life. They can be more chaotic now. We have a jumble of clashing schedules and summer schedules are worse. As children become young adults, it gets difficult to find those moments of routine, of coziness together, of play. They become so much more important because they are rarer. So we adapt. For us, time together includes occasional evenings watching cartoons or a movie, Sundays at church, possibly followed by a visit to the bookstore with grandparents, and even those fleeting moments when we are all in the car together, discussing something we heard or saw. There is a rhythm to life in our time together. These moments are the greatest opportunity for growth and learning. We learn a great deal from simply being with each other.