Tag Archives: Old Westbury Gardens

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Old Westbury Gardens Find a Fairy Event Things to Do with Kids Long IslandPinThis
Last month we had the opportunity to revisit an old favorite here on the Island, the Old Westbury Gardens. Just after school let out for good, we kicked off our summer of fun at an event we’d had our eyes on for quite some time, the Find a Flower Fairy midsummer family program. Due to the popularity of the event, advance registration is required and we showed up at our allotted time with our gaggle of littles who were ready to search for the elusive and mysterious garden dwellers.

After parking we headed right to the table set up on the west lawn just past the pond to check in. Now I would be remiss as a fellow parent if I didn’t forewarn you at this point that goodies are for sale here in the form of fairy wings and mini binoculars! Luckily we were able to make it past this point without adding more fairy gear to our collection. But just barely.

When the group was all ready we headed down to the first of many stops along the way. It also just so happened to be my favorite stop of the day! We headed for the colonnade and reflecting pool where musician Johnny Cuomo and his two young sons waited to delight all the participants with soft melodies. He invited everyone to dance along and even gave us all a little background and history on the type of music he was playing. We were then invited to sit under the canopy of the massive tree right next to the colonnade and keep an eye out for possible fairy sightings.

From there our fairy tour guides took us through the rest of the gardens, looking for fairies high up on the trees that line the beautiful west pond and among the lovely full blooms in the rose garden. We even checked out the extraordinarily whimsical and detailed tiny fairy houses along the southern allée that were compromised of twigs and leaves and other little bits of nature- gingerly stepping over the discarded strawberry remnants they love to feast on! Circling back around toward the end of the visit we stopped by the edge of the west pond just past the grand staircase and used mini binoculars to look for fairies on the swan boat out over the water.

When the tour was over and we found ourselves back on the same lawn where we had begun, I thought all the fun was over. Little did I expect the sweet surprise our pickles had in store. Sitting all together in a circle, each child received a little cup of pink lemonade and a delicious cupcake (I had to sneak a bite!) topped with pink frosting before calling it a day and heading home.

This wasn’t our first time at the bucolic Old Westbury Gardens. We’ve spent many a day here exploring, visiting Santa, making crafts, gazing at stars through telescopes in the winter night sky, and even checking out intricately carved pumpkins at the Rise of the Jack O Lanterns event. With a calendar brimming with all sorts of family and children’s events throughout most of the year, however, I know without a doubt that it was certain to be far from our last.

The Mama Bears Photo Essay Boys Westbury GardenPinThis

The Mama Bears Photo Essay Nurturing Nature Old Westbury Gardens BoysPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Nurturing Nature Old Westbury Gardens BoysPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Nurturing Nature Old Westbury Gardens BoysPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Boys Westbury GardenPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Nurturing Nature Old Westbury Gardens BoysPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Nurturing Nature Old Westbury Gardens BoysPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Boys Westbury GardenPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Boys Westbury GardenPinThisThe Mama Bears Photo Essay Boys Westbury GardenPinThis

 

Blue Oxford Shirt :: Gap Kids  |  Brown Boots :: Cole Haan (similar here)
Plaid Shirt :: H&M (similar here)  |  Corduroy Pants :: H&M (similar here)
Taupe Boots :: Target

Boys. There’s just something about them. Something that makes them at once incredibly distinct and yet completely identical to littles the same age across the gender divide. Not in any way better or worse or even preferable- just different. Their inherent masculinity is fascinating in its own right, emerging and standing on its own merits apart from any labels and preconceptions we may even unwittingly place on it. Since becoming a mama of two little males myself, I’ve taken part in my fair share of deliberations on this last point over the years, wondering aloud with friends and relatives about the age-old question- is it nature or nurture?

Is it nature that makes play fighting so darn enticing- landing kicks and punches on their opponent (sometimes willing, sometimes not) that would give any superheroes a run for their money? Nature that accords wrestling such irresistible appeal- giving them cause to grapple everywhere from the sandy shore to dressing room floors at my feet? Or perhaps it’s nurture. Is it entirely my doing that everything around them transforms itself into a sword or a gun? That the best thing to watch on Netflix is always (ALWAYS) the Ninja Turtles? Is it nurture that makes everything even an inch off the ground ripe for climbing?

Over these past six years I’ve had ample opportunity to see, assess, and form my own conclusions regarding this great debate. I’ve even considered things from the other vantage point after my nieces were born. Raising our littles side by side, just a stone’s throw from each other, my sister and I know all of our children inside and out. We’re a part of our cubs’ histories and futures just as much as they are a part of ours. And in my opinion?

It’s a little of both.

While mother nature may give certain activities and interests their initial appeal, I follow her lead by developing them. I like to think I’m nurturing nature. Just like everything else regarding motherhood, I see my role as one of a facilitator and safe keeper. A teacher. Where my little ones lead, I will follow. I will take their interests and help them unravel them and delve into them. Are they the same interests I had myself as a girl? Sometimes. But I know full well that, in the end, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they have the space, the freedom, and the opportunity to examine their own passions and make their own determinations. One day this may mean asking to have their ears pierced and wearing nail polish after an afternoon playing with their cousins of the XX-chromosome persuasion. Other days it may mean living room obstacle courses and ninja role-play in full regalia. Whatever in the world tickles their fancy.

So when it was time for their annual photo shoot recently, I tried to continue with this theme of neutrality. I steered clear of any props or backgrounds that might hint at anything other than a study of their beautiful faces and of the tiny details that disappear more and more each day. With nature and the lovely Old Westbury Gardens as a backdrop, I had my goal within sight.

I should have known better.

Turning around at one point, I saw it. My boy, lost in his make-believe world of good guys and bad guys. He was brandishing his pretend longsword around, challenging imaginary villains to a contest of strength and agility. In his mind’s eye there was no villain in the entire realm he couldn’t vanquish, no dragon he and his mighty wooden twig couldn’t slay. I couldn’t help but smile. Truly irrepressible. I did the only thing I really needed to do in that moment- his instance of victory, triumph etched all over his face. I lifted my camera and captured it forever.