Part of teaching a child about the world is taking him to see the world. So once in a while, I take Kyz around the neighborhood after dark, about an hour before bedtime.

I started doing this a month ago when he had too much energy at bed time. We would walk around our quiet neighborhood, looking in shop windows and saying “Hi” to passers-by. It was his job to carry the flashlight. I put a strap on it and he wears it across his chest; he’s so serious about it.

Our neighborhood is well lighted, but a boy needs responsibility. Now our night expeditions have expanded to include observing spiders and petroglyphs (chalk drawings). In the quiet of the night I can hear my son breathing as he peers into a spider web and watches her weaving. “Daddy, wook…” he says, never taking his eyes off of her.

We have also added some new (and perplexing) equipment for our research: a transparent ruler, a saw and a tape measure. So our night walk has become a combination of  arachnology, nocturnal ethology and carpentry. Who is this kid?

I happened to have some blue chalk in my junk box and brought that along too. We drew stars for God and hearts for Momma. And a few blue bananas for a monkey friend of his, and feathers for a rare blue parrot.

I’ve learned a lot about my son during our night missions. I learned how much he is himself when he is free to be. He can be quiet, observant, reverent and joyful. He likes drawing, climbing and singing. I have found these new scenarios to be good opportunities to introduce new vocabulary too. And he’s not afraid of spiders anymore.

I love taking night classes with my boy.