P is for Playing Outside
Sometimes, I notice that my children do not go outside and play much but then they have stints where they are always out there. We put up a huge swing, one of those that’s round and kind of looks like a dreamcatcher, and they do enjoy that. Lately the boys have been practicing soccer together in the back. We have a trampoline too and when the weather is nice, they jump.
But when I was a kid, going outside was the ultimate freedom; THE thing to do once chores and homework and school were accomplished. I walked to elementary school so I was outside until I got home and I made sure to do homework immediately so I could go back out and play. Even if the kids up the street couldn’t come out to play, I came up with something to do, whether it was sidewalk chalk or riding my bike or scooter or skateboard, I was there. I remember this little hill on the other side of the sidewalk, in the patch of grass between driveways. I’d get going on my scooter (these are old 80s scooters, not like a Razor) down my driveway then hit the grass bump and catch a little air. It was so exhilarating!
I often rode bikes with my dad in the alleyways behind houses in our neighborhood. I loved the wind in my face, the sun on my skin, and the feeling of being independent. It’s not like I didn’t enjoy being indoors but I found so much more excitement in the backyard or in the streets.
Having had three kids, there’s nothing quite like seeing your kids in that state of feeling like everything is fine, just fine. And every time we took them to a playground or a big open field or even walking on trails, you could see the wonder in their eyes, their happiness. And I feel like I could relive that through them; I used to love being outside so much.
And I guess really, I am still that person. While I hate mosquito bites, I love sitting in the sun or exploring a path or just taking a walk in the neighborhood. I guess that’s the adult version of “play”.