Remembering How to Play

Out in Connecticut, visiting my brother, I took the kids outside.  He has a long narrow lot with a large grassy area.  It’s cut into a hillside so it slopes steeply above and below his driveway and yard.  The early fall air felt great and refreshing.  My son ran up and down the long drive, enjoying the freedom of being outside.  It didn’t take long before we were searching for something else to do.  What did I do when I was a kid?  I remember as a kid playing for endless hours in the woods surround my grandpa’s house in Minnesota.  I tried to remember so I could show my son the pleasures of the woods.  At home, our yard is filled with yellow dump trucks, a basketball hoop, sandbox, balls, a red wagon and a basket of toys.  Entertainment is at our finger tips.  But here, there was nothing but grass, trees, squirrels and rocks.  It took a couple days for my mind to begin to adjust.  “Let’s climb up this steep hill.”  We held hands, we slipped on the pine needles, tripped over roots and made it up to the fence line.  Going down was exciting too.  We had to go slow and choose our footing carefully, then once we were a couple feet from the bottom we could let go and run!  Then we looked at pinecones and acorns hidden beneath the trees.  We made our way to the grassy slope next.  It was so steep I suddenly remembered….this would be great to roll down.  I showed Josiah how lie down and put his arms up like a log.  I gave him a push and sent him tumbling!  He loved it.  My daughter too, only 10 months old, rolled.  We laughed and rolled and then it was time to tackle mom.  They screamed and we tickled.  It was delightful.  Pure fun had returned.  I smiled as I gathered the kiddos and we headed inside for dinner.  It took me several days, but I began to remember how to be a kid and how to show my two kids how to explore, create and have fun in the great outdoors.  It was a wonderful refresher course from mother nature.  I hope we never forget it.

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