Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feeding the ducks

Do you remember my mentioning the girls wanting to go home early some days to "feed the ducks"? Well, this is one of their favorite things to do when in Norlando! And I am so glad. I am glad they like being outside. I am glad they like being around nature. I am glad they like interacting with animals. I was watching a really cool video lately that basically had the speaker talking about how greatly our childrens' views of nature are to ours when we were young. He made me reflect on how much I LOVED to go outside AS SOON AS I got home from school. And I did NOT want to come back in. I remember Catherine and I riding our bikes a hundred or so times up and down our street. And, I remember going into the "woods" behind our house (all 300' or so of them) to build forts out of sticks and branches. Pine branches were the BEST for "hiding" our forts!!
If we lucked up and found some old wood, we would drag it all back there and makeshift some construction to add a floor or walls between a few trees, for a REALLY, REALLY awesome fort! And then there were the TRAILS!! Do any of you recall the trails of your childhood?! Man, I do. I rode my motorcylce ALL over the place right through the woods at the end of the street. We would stop and catch crawfish with a string and bacon. And we would make jumps to ramp over mud puddles.
But, as I was watching this video, and realizing that I was watching it on my computer, I also knew that Todd was in his Man Cave, watching sports on his tv and likely surfing scores and what not on his iPad.
and beside me, this angel lay finding music videos on my iphone. I was really kind of ashamed!! I looked outside often during this video to see that there WERE some woods not far from our back yard. And we live at the end of a not very busy street, so the girls actually CAN ride their bikes without my being constantly worried.... pretty soon. Not yet. And there's a big 0l' awesome pond in our backyard! Great for learning to fish and bait your own hook, and bond with each other in nature.
I remember vividly taking walks with my dad and Poppa in the woods behind Poppa's house just looking for whatever we may find! Those were really some of my most treasured memories!
Lo and behold, I just found my link!! You should watch it. It's a little stale, as far as not all action packed and all, but his message touched me! I DEFINITELY don't want knowledge and love of nature and being outdoors to end with my generation. I DEFINITELY want to do what I must do to ensure that my kids appreciate the grass and the natural waterways, and the woods!!
He spoke of the "stranger danger" and how that has greatly impacted our allowing our kids to just go out and play... sometimes alone. And how a particular lady actually threatened social services because a neighbor let her kids play in the yard alone. Think about that!! How many of us were ENCOURAGED to go outside and play alone?! I mean, with your siblings or neighbors, or whatever, but not chaperoned in any way! What a shame! I want that for my kids too.
I made a commitment that day to start taking the time to get outside with my girls more. To make sure they learn to fish out in the pond. To take them on walks in the woods. I am going to encourage Todd to make these memories with them, and I am going to ask Pops to come and teach them to fish and maybe even camp out from time to time.
Daddy used to take our family of four to the river and we'd pitch a tent and spend the night on the sandbar. Think about how "fearful" we might be now to do that. ANd why? The media makes a huge spectacle out of abductions, when actually, he reported this trend to be down from my childhood years. Daddy also used to take us to the river every weekend to ski and play in the water on the sandbars.
I actually realized that my fondest memories of all of my childhood were these. And there is a serious threat that my kids wouldn't know any of them as their own. Only ipads, iphones, laptops, cellphones. YUCK! I have to make a change!
We spend a good deal of time on a golf cart when the weather is good, and I can't wait for spring so we can get back out there. We're gonna take a few more nature walks though. The author of this book/ video, The Abundant Childhood: Nature, Creativity & Health: An Evening with Richard Louv , also emphasized the relationship between a child's creativity and his or her spending time outside.
It doesnt' take much creativity to open an app on an iphone. But it takes a TON to imagine a spaceship made of twigs and pine needles!! And for SURE, I want to raise creative children!

Soapbox?! Maybe. But, these outdoor, feed the ducks pictures from Norlando, reminded me and I wanted to share this conviction.



kimybeee said...

amen - while my kids embrace the technology of today, that is what their generation has always known, they also have a great love of the outdoors and animals and all that stuff.

we are very blessed to live in the country just outside of a small town. our neighbors are close to us, but they are aunts and uncles and cousins and friends. my kids have gone from being outside supervised when they were small (road was very close to our first old house here) to being able to go outside and play for a while by themselves or with family.

in the last several years since they are older they are outside and gone for hours sometimes (my son more than my daughter). they both have killed deer, fished and my son has "roughed it" camping with my husband and other friends alot. they raise animals for the county fair and are involved in 4h and ffa. they have most of the same things that my husband and i had growing up and we are so glad. of course, our location has made a lot of that possible.

and i am right with you with my childhood. we lived farther out in the country on a one lane road. i had a pony and i spent hours with my pony roaming around the neighbors 100+ acre farm. my best friend and i used to meet each other on our bicycles and ride for hours on end - miles and miles. we would go 4wheeling and visit friends and while my parents were cautious, they had no idea where i was a lot of the time - but they didn't worry.

one thing that is great about the techno age, when you want those kids to come to the house you don't have to yell, just dial them up and tell them to come on lol lol lol

jeff and i have talked about how our kids will never be impressed by the things that we were growing up - space flight, cell phones, etc. but they will never even comprehend the things that our grandparents got to see develop. cars and television and all kinds of cool stuff.

well, that is enough - and i was just thinking the other day that i would like to go feed the ducks again!!!

Mama J said...

Your heart is in the right place. : ) I was also raised in a small town and was able to ride my bike, walk to town alone or with my friends and not give a second thought to anything but being a free spirit. I rode my bike about 2 miles in the country to my grandmothers and would stay till dark and my mom or dad would come pick me up and load my bike in the car. Wonderful memories. Today it is hard to even get kids to look at you when you are having a conversation because they are constantly looking for a text or sending a text. Kinda sad for sure. You go Mo!

Bj said... about a flashback in time!! I so remember the same things the summer, we kids got up (did our chores), ate breakfast, then hit the back door running! We were riding bikes, roaming around the neighborhood with the other kids, exploring our world....and half the time, Mom knew "about where" we were, but didn't really see us till evening and supper time! I have a very vivid imagination today and I think a lot of that is due to all the time spent outdoors with nature and all her beauty. Gee Mo, thanks for the stroll down memory lane this morning....and I think you are on the right track with your girls. You are a GREAT mom and that is evident in all that you "want" for them. You go girl and God bless your efforts.....huggers, BJ

kendra said...

I agree with you. We went outside at sun-up and better be home by sun-down and boy were we sad to go inside. I love everything about being outside and my boys do too. Such a blessing.

Mancy/MimMim said...

AMEN, Mo. When Nancy and I were at Mom's a few Saturdays ago working in the yard, all we could talk about were the memories of sheets hanging from this tree or that one to make a fort, purple berry dirt pies, walking the trails to the creeks to pick white violets. Awesome memories....your girls are so blessed, you are a fantastic mother. Love, Love the pic of Ellie with the wind blowing her hair, would love a copy for my library please!!!

Shannon said...

I grew up on a ranch in western Nebraska, so I had plenty of nature and animals! Wouldn't trade my childhood for anything!

Renee said...

Technology has slowly but surely taken over a large part of our world. Last summer we bought a camper, so we can enjoy time together outdoors. We look forward to the days that we can take off and "camp". We try to go at least one weekend a month.

snekcip said...

Oh how I remember those good times!! I can truly say "I had the best childhood ever". From chasing the neighbors chicken to playing "helicopter" with neighborhood friends. I always wanted my children to have "fond memories" of their childhood as well. My kids are all grown (except for Bre) and it truly feels good to hear them talk about their "wonderful childhood". We hail from a large family and all our kids are close. We went all out for holidays and family get togethers!! Even though "technology based" gadgets had just made their appearances in the early 80's we still encouraged "playing outside". I vowed to do the same thing w/Bre. Of course kids of today are tech savvy but I can truly say "she rather be outside riding her bike or at the park". For Christmas we stuck to more "outside type" things (bike, scooter, skates, ride on toy etc). I rather her outside then in front of a TV. Get this!! I'm not only going to "watch her play", but I'm gonna buy me a bike this summer!! Yep, I'm gonna get out there and get some sunshine myself!!!

I applaud your decision, there is nothing like creating childhood memories!!

Shannon said...

Thanks for the memories!

jenny said...

Amen, Sista! You DO it! God bless.

Beverly said...

AMEN - you are right on target! I've been on that soapbox too!

MaryH said...

My family owns a farm in southern Missouri - I had no need for camps or vacations - I had the farm where my Poppie, Aunt, Uncle and cousins lived and it was paradise. My cousin and his family live there now - it has been in our family for almost 175 years - my daughters fell in love with the farm and learned to hike the woods, and fish in the ponds, and explore the caves and wade in the creeks and catch crawdads and collect sparkly rocks and my grandson is now enchanted with all of it also - even though he is only 2 1/2 - he runs right into the woods and throws rocks in the creek and talks to the cows because he feels at home there - because he can feel his grandma's love for the place and his mommy's love for the place and I know for a fact his great- great-grandpa (Poppie) and his great-grandap (my dad) are on that property in spirt and in strength and they are smiling at this new little man and his love and enthusiasm for the BEST place on earth - the farm. Thanks, Mo, for reminding me how lucky I am to have that place and those people in my life.

Becky said...

love the head shot of Ellie -
Not on a soapbox - you are just reminding us of what was before - i keep reminding my kids - your kids will be grown up and gone long before you realize...

Beth E. said...

So's sad that our society (and our lifestyles) often prevent us from enjoying the simple life.

My best childhood memory? Climbing a big tree in our neighbor's yard. My best buddy back then - a boy named Gary - taught me how to play army, ride a go-cart, build forts, leave big skid marks on the road with my bicycle tires, etc. I was such a tomboy! LOL