Thursday, May 30, 2013

Frogs in her pockets

While I was on my cruise I started reading a book called "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. It is tremendously insightful  and makes me thankful that my parents encouraged my siblings and I to play outdoors. I remember spending hours jumping from one log to the next while my parents cut and stacked firewood in the mountains, camping for weeks at a time at the lake, rescuing frog eggs from vanishing puddles and raising the tadpoles in our greenhouse. I remember cutting trails in the forest behind our house with a machete, building rafts, beach combing, scaling cliffs with my sister in our bare feet, racing my siblings up our favorite waterfall, making forts and being armed with pocket knives in case we had an encounter with a bear or cougar. I  guess I have always assumed that all children grew up spending the majority of their childhood outdoors. Apparently that is NOT the case.
Another of the reasons that I love this book is that it makes me feel as though I am doing something right as a parent. I may not always be patient, or enjoy "playing" with my children, but I am good at taking them on forest trails, collecting caterpillars, digging worms out of the garden and helping the girls feed them to  their "pet" bullfrogs. We hold spiders, make forts, explore waterfalls, go camping, and turn over logs. Amelia is a fearless snake catcher and thinks that salamanders are just as awesome as chocolate. (And she LOVES chocolate like her momma).
I love that my children are confident on uneven ground, can balance on logs, and climb up rocks. I love watching their little bodies absorb the sounds and smells outdoors.....watching them fill their little chubby fists with wildflowers, their pockets with rocks, marveling at pretty beetles, and tossing rocks into a clean stream. Their bodies seem more relaxed, peaceful and tuned in then they do when they are trapped in the house for hours on end.  I love watching Claire make signs for the all the things she sees but can't say. She flaps her arms to say bird, pants to say puppy and swallows to say frog. Most of the time she just pats my leg incessantly and says "OHH, OHH"!



1 comment:

Mrs. R said...

Love seeing your girls play with frogs and in dresses!! I too grew up outside doing similar things and totally want to raise my boys to do the same!