As in so many families, our kids are glued to a range of different screens throughout the day and although the sun is shining I find it hard to get them outside on the weekends. It was so much easier when they were younger. Then you could just buckle them into their car seats in the car and take them to a playground, forest or park to rumble around. Then you could tell them to go outside and play, and they did. Because Mama said so and Mama is in charge.
At 9, 12 and 15 it is a different story. Letting go of the constant parenting control, to give my kids freedom to grow into adulthood and allowing them to find a balance between screen v. real life time, is a bit of a challenge. We struggle. We do. Just like many of you do too. I know I'm not alone in this and that is kind of comforting, but the situation is still very frustrating. I've written about it before (here and here) and I'm sure this is not the last time this topic will be mentioned on this blog.
So what can we do? We are swapping Screen time to Forest Walk time. Jay is good at getting the kids to come along on walks in the woods or just getting outside in general, especially on weekends. This last Sunday we took the girls out for a walk in a precious Woodland reserve called Le Bois De Chaine. It is so beautiful there and we used to go here often when the kids were younger. I think it has been a few years since our last visit.
We had a great time! With the sun out and a mild wind we could watch the tree tops flapping like chop sticks above us. Super cool. And on the ground we found beech nuts (watch this super cool little video I found on You Tube) to Emmy Bo's delight. She loved picking, peeling and eating them. It says they are slightly toxic when raw, but I think you would have to eat quite a lot for any toxic effect. ;) Let me put it this way, Emmy Bo is still very much alive after eating dozens. :)
We found a mountain creek that we haven't seen before. We stopped to listen and watch it for a while. I want to come back in spring when it is wild and full to the brim with mountain water. Then I'll put on my swimsuit and jump right in! And the kids too! We will scream and laugh and feel so alive! Afterwards I want to have hot chocolate and cinnamon buns all wrapped up in warm towels and blankets. That would be quite an event, don't you think? I bet there will be pretty spring flowers all over the place as well. Oh yes, I'll be back here in spring for sure.
And just a last few words. THANK YOU all for your fantastic support. This blog post was supposed to come up earlier this past week but I got to busy reading all your comments on my previous post. I'm so happy to be a part of this fabulous community and incredibly flattered but your admiration, encouragement and sweet words (big sigh and red cheeks....) I'm looking forward to many more deep conversations in this place. I'm sorry if I haven't replied to you all but you should all know that every word has been read multiple times and put a great smile on my face and it is not rubbing off yet. See you all around and have a Happy First Advent.