Enfield-weekly-opinion

Maureen absolutely loves Motherhood. She sparkles at the mention of it, and all being a Mom has given to her. Her little girl is the light of her life, and she has Maureen’s full attention!

Maureen loved the idea of Moms helping Moms, and was quick to contribute. It took only minutes for her to identify her top 10 tips.

Maureen, “Teach them to enjoy the outdoors.” Tip #7

Enjoying the outdoors was not something so prevalent in my childhood. I was forced outside all the time, but “enjoying the outdoors,” being physically active, was something different.

As a child, I was heavily asthmatic. Outdoor play was likely limited because of that, and because I did not have a really “outdoorsy” family. I couldn’t do much physically without a trip to the emergency room.

To further complicate matters, my Mom was extremely fearful of injury. She predicted injury or trouble almost every time I left the house. I would not dare try something new!

As for Michael, I remember hearing an adage, when a child has climbed a tree he will draw a different tree than a child who has never climbed a tree. I don’t know if there’s any truth to that, but I had never climbed a tree. I decided, my son would climb a tree! I grabbed up my baby and off we went!

I took a 2-year old Michael in my arms for a planned hike, picnic, and tree climbing. I smile as I recall my lack of understanding in every facet of my plan.

Michael was only 2! He hadn’t even mastered walking, but I was taking him on a hike. He certainly couldn’t climb, and the significance of a picnic in the woods would be lost on him, for sure! I was so ill-prepared, but how I tried!

With barely any concept of childhood development, this event did increase my knowledge. I recall I was angry with Michael as he wanted to stop ‘hiking.’ He was likely grabbing leaves or rocks, enjoying nature. There was no time for that, I had a plan! We were going to climb a tree!

Something within me fed an urgency to give Michael every experience I could. I raced to unravel my personal damage, and hurried to make all things right.

Our hike was brief, likely minutes. We sat for a picnic, then we climbed our first tree! I still have a branch of it in his baby book. In some ways, we were growing up together. In every way, we were experiencing childhood together.

I look back sweetly on how hard I tried, sadly on how alone I felt, and unfortunately on how poorly prepared I was. In the end, I did my best, well I did something, to instill an appreciation for the outdoors. There is such fun to be had outside, so many adventures.

Years later, about age 7, Michael was a ‘country-kid.’ There, he could play, climb, capture bugs, build forts, and pee outside. He met, and enjoyed, many ‘country-kids’ and some outdoorsy people, like Sheila’s (Mom #7).

The outdoors can help us all to feel like kids again. Life really is in the simple things.

Thanks for the memories Maureen. I’m sure you have a much better grasp on age-appropriate activities, than did I!

Next week starts a local trio, beginning with trust. So great to have family participation from two generations!