November 13, 2021

“Okay three minutes left!” I yell.  The response is always, “Can’t we stay longer? I want to stay for an hour more!”   I stand back and know in my heart if I could I would let them play until they tire. Until the last bit of play has seeped from their amazing souls.  

I suppose there is a part of me that feels it’s good to keep them wanting more.  To help foster  a desire and love of being in the woods.  I stand atop a leaf fill hill watching them tying ropes and pretending to be mountain climbers. Over and over again repeating their plan, being interrupted by kids with other ideas, acclimating and moving purposefully and with intention.   It is a beautiful thing to watch.  Like a symphony being written.  All the little notes coming together to create a flow of playful behavior. 

As I stand there I think of other children who could be outside playing and testing out their theories while interacting with other children who add to making memories.  Sometimes there is conflict, but it is allowed to work itself out.  It is the same way I figured it out when I was a little girl on my own playing with others.  Yes, sometimes I didn’t get what I wanted and there was a kid who annoyed me, but that added to who I was becoming. 

So if you get the chance, set your kids free for 45 minutes (yes maybe that means skip soccer practice or art class), they probably will come back tired and full of some type of fulfillment.  Practice this and your children will get better at it.  It’s free, may cause you some grief, but in the long run your child will be stronger and more resilient for it!  And if you already give your child the outside freedom, bravo!!! 

I’d love to hear some of your stories! Write me at sue@avalonparkandpreserve.org