One of the great things about city-living is that we don't have many mosquitoes. We compensate with our fair share of flies, but they don't bite. Given the volumes of rain we've had this spring, however, the mosquitoes have penetrated the city. And they are big. The ones we swatted during this morning's nature walk were massive and thirsty.

I love for the kids to spend oodles of time in nature, so I am trying valiantly to make peace with mosquitoes, and ticks, and poison ivy. I am generally more fearful of these things than any of the city's dangers, but I am working on letting go and not worrying about venomous insects and itchy plants.

For inspiration, I turn again to Charlotte Mason and her writings in her 1906 book, Home Education: "With regard to the horror which some children show of beetle, spider, worm, that is usually a trick picked up from grown-up people." (p.58 )