Want to know what makes my kids come alive, use all of their senses, stop fighting (for the most part), and work as a team to help each other with challenges? It’s this:
I so want to get outside every day this winter, unless its ridiculously cold. Each year I say this. I say I’ll bundle the kids up, go out for a half an hour, and we’ll run around to keep warm and we’ll play. Truthfully, the kids would probably go for it, but I always chicken out.
This year I thought maybe I could do 15 minutes. But on day 1 of my plan, it was super cold and windy. Amy, a homeschooling momma with far more experience that I, advised that we spend our 15 minutes looking out the window and noticing things, then drink hot chocolate. I am pretty sure she is a Naturalist at an actual Nature Center so I considered this very sound professional advice and we did just that.
And wouldn’t you know it, as we gazed out, it started to snow. Tons of flakes swirling around in the wind, sticking to everything in sight. “I feel like I’m in a snow globe, Mommy!”, Firefly said smiling, looking out the window and up at the sky. Little birds scurried around on the ground underneath the feeders. It was just us and those few little birds and the swirling, rushing snow.
Hot chocolate forgotten, kids and dog darted out the front door and ran around in the front yard. They were back in a flash for coats and mittens, then out again. Then just as quickly as it had begun, it was gone. Wind swooshed in and blew the snowflakes around. Landing on what must’ve been warmer streets, patios, and earth, they disappeared. We retreated back inside. For two, maybe three days. I lost count.
Then it happened. Unseasonably warm weather. Sixty degree days. Two of them in a row. We would make up for lost time. We grabbed the dog and her tennis ball and headed for the woods the first day. The second day, today, we went here:
A new place for us. So much to explore. Full of new rocks to climb, new paths to take, little fish swimming in the water, and so much more. They didn’t want to leave.
She’s sleeping now, beside me as I type, all curled up and smelling of wet, happy dog.
I feel so grateful for these two warm, unseasonable days. Maybe the key to getting out in the winter is to just get as much as we can, when we can, and let it sustain us for those cold, cold days. Hmmmm, I don’t know. We’ll keep at it and let you know how it goes.