For those with their heads in the gutter, that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the great outdoors. I’m talking about how easy it is for kids to forget about the beautiful world outside. I won’t sit here and say I’m not guilty of it. I grew up during an age when video games consoles were first born and it was exciting. I also knew what it was like to leave the house with my little friend and explore the neighborhood, as long as I was home by dinner time. And when my brother and I were at our father’s, we were free to wander the trails of the woods, so long as we checked for ticks before we came back in the house. I do my best to make sure my son gets a healthy mix, considering he’ll need to know the basics of a computer or tablet when he starts school. But I’d rather he create rather than relish in the creativity of others all the time.
For Father’s Day, we packed up the car and went to visit a friend of my husband’s. He lives, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere. It was fantastic! The dogs roamed the property with the chickens, the kids caught frogs and chased each other, and we had a casual cook out with new friends. When we got home, it was way too late for a bath, so I stripped the boy down to his Ninja Turtle Underoos and scrubbed him down right there in the kitchen.
“Did you have fun?” I asked.
“Yes!” he said quite confidently.
“What was your favorite part?”
He thought for a moment, tapping his little finger to his chin. “All of it!” he said, “But I really like the duck.”
Being out there made me miss my days of adventure as a child. We grow up and work so hard, sometimes we’re just too tired to do anything else afterwards. So today, the boy and I grabbed his butterfly net and a bucket and walked down to the stream behind our neighbor’s house. I wanted to catch him a polliwog, to show him how frogs look before they become frogs. But I suppose I’m a bit out of practice. Silly me didn’t wear my boots, so my Converse sneakers slipped on the banking and into the mud I went.
“What’d you do that for, Momma?”
Yep – he’s definitely my kid.
Until next time, polliwogs.