Live in the sunshine. Swim the sea. Drink the wild air. -Emerson
Today I am writing as a guest writer for the amazing Opeeqo-a website that offers ideas for modern parenting. I couldn't be happier about this post because I am writing all about something I have a true love and belief in-raising my children among the wild things (outdoors) and why it is important to me. I honestly don't know if we are ever as happy as when we are outside. My boys adore being among anything wild and I love watching them grow in this world by allowing them explore all it has to offer. It's really quite strange because I have always felt that being outside is where my boys do their best learning. Because of this I try to offer them as many opportunities as possible to get out there. What I didn't realize was happening was that they were actually teaching me. My love for the outdoors was growing at a rate I would never expect. You know our children really do teach us more about ourselves than we could ever realize. For me growing up I loved being outdoors, then as I entered my adolescence years my love for it started to dwindle as I found new interests. Before I knew it I was married and going to school and I just loved going shopping at the mall. Then my babies were born and they have helped me rekindle my love for the outdoors. Not only am I continually blown away by its beauty, but I am always so thankful for all the opportunities it gives my boys to learn, run wild and be free-we truly make out best memories among the "wild air."
It is so important for me to raise my children in the outdoors because I think that this is where they are going to gain the best experiences in their life. We often visit the same places: our favorite swimming hole or fishing pond, digging in the giant sand pit, hiking to our local waterfall or going sledding down the same hill a million times; Yet each time these experiences and visits to these same places are completely different. Not to mention the amazing memories that have come from it.
We were able to visit my mother-in-laws vacation rental and finally feel the sun on our skin after being bundled up from winter; it was exactly what we needed. We have been to this same location before, but each time we visit my boys are a little older, a little smarter, and a little more daring. Cooper was actually courageous enough to jump in the pool for the first time and Boone was finally brave enough to enter the water without having to cling onto someone. It may not be a huge improvement but even watching them grow in the simplest ways is always so rewarding as a parent. We drove miles to see giant colorful stacked rocks, because I want my boys to admire the beauty in this world-both manmade, naturally made, and the amazingness that can happen when the two are combined. We hiked red rock, ran through the sand, but most of all we enjoyed each others company. Just us four, just our memories with no interruptions.
There's a saying that says "collect moments not things" and that is exactly what spending our time outdoors allows us to do.
You know some of the best days are those that are uninterrupted by being 'unplugged' all day- Text messages that can wait, phone calls that can go to voicemail, Facebook and Instagram notifications that will still be there when you are finished. And for me the outdoor world is really a whole new world because I completely forget about the worldly things of being 'plugged in' and 100% focus on my boys. I sit. I listen. I watch- I watch their every move-the way the sun reflects in their eyes, how those curly locks get curler by the second from sweaty little heads, the way they pick at bushes, brush the sand from their pants, scourer the ground for the perfect rock, and stomp in the sand trying to figure out why their isn't a sound being reciprocated back to them. I am learning more about them as an individual from these small things and for me it's all about those experiences that make me fall completely in love with the outdoors and why it is so important to me. I truly am a better more aware parent out there living in the sunshine, rain, and snow among the mountains, sand, flowers and trees with my little lost boys.