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!
http://www.artbabble.org/video/ima/abundant-childhood-nature-creativity-health-evening-richard-louv 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.