I’m a generation X gal. Growing up I’d spend all day outside if I could just like the rest of the neighborhood. Riding bikes, going to the park, playing catch, and I remember hauling my Barbies outside and sitting under a tree. I have fair skin and I burn and freckle in the sun. Growing up my dad would always say that summer was here as my freckles came out. In high school and college I’d lay on a blanket in the sun and read. I’ll admit I still go out without sunscreen, but only if it’s for a few minutes. Otherwise it’s sunscreen time.
I’ve discovered, with love, that my children are the same way. The weather has been nice here lately 70 degrees and we have been in an out every day. Rather than go sweat in the gym when my older two were in school I strapped the youngest in a stroller and we strolled in the sunshine. We noticed birds, and trees, and flowers. On walks we are always looking for “woof-woofs.” We don’t own one yet, but our house will include a retriever some time soon. Until then we pet any friendly dogs walking past our house. I am awful about remembering people’s names–but I can tell you the names of our neighborhood dogs. It was an absolutely perfect walk. If anyone knows of a great stroller that could comfortably hold my five year old and my one an a half year old I’d love the info. My five year old just doesn’t quite have the strength to go for long walks yet.
But being outside is also a challenge. Neither of my girls quite understand the concept of the road yet. They’re great about freezing if a car is in sight and luckily we live in a fairly quiet neighborhood. But sometimes while I’m pushing one on the swing or digging a castle with another my other daughter will give me a Cheshire cat grin and take off running towards the street. Of course, we’re all sad then as the consequences are “we go inside.” I have to lock my garage door as my youngest will try to sneak out the door if anyone goes near their shoes.
So we’ve got a lot of work to do this summer teaching boundaries. Because I love the smell of Coppertone and seeing my tile floor full of grass and sand after a good time outside. There are playgrounds calling our name. And I don’t want to spend all our time watching the sun through the windows.