Great article here on Moms and Dads who teach kids to love nature…
My mother, an artist, hovered above science: she saw the pure beauty of the natural world. And she loved all animals — despite a serious snake phobia and the fact that her older son wanted to become a herpetologist.
When I was about eight years old, my father and I were working in the big garden behind our house. My father stopped dead in his tracks. On the ground in front of him was a two-foot long length of black water hose dug up by the rototiller.
He considered it for a while, then picked it up, went to the basement and found an old Tinkertoy box – a round cardboard tube with caps on each end. He folded the black hose and wedged it tightly inside and capped the tube.
With me in tow, he marched to the kitchen where my mother was making lunch. He handed the Tinkertoy box to her. “Here, there’s a present inside,” he said.
She opened it.
The snakelike hose flew into the air. She did, too. I had never seen her jump that high. In one acrobatic feat, she was on the counter. Screaming. My father the Joker and his short accomplice fled the scene of the crime.