Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January at the Park

I needed today. It was full of nature and children.

It was full of the outdoors and free play. It was full of my favorite young people and it was a much needed break from the indoors and my own brain. The sun cracked through the clouds as we inched towards 70 degrees in January! The sky stayed blue for several hours. Clouds rolled indecisively in and out. The sky, clouds, and bare trees made a beautiful backdrop for photography. I love how in the winter the tippy tops of the tree branches look like nothing more than little sticks reaching far into the sky. The trees are so exposed.

I don't like a lot about winter. So it's a big deal when I find something I do like. It's an exercise I need to implement and embrace because I whine every single darn day about winter. Our thoughts shape our moods and actions, so I know this incessant complaining is really bad. This winter is dreadfully dull and I feel awfully uninspired. Today I took time to hear my little ones. I took a break from my complaining about winter and the chatter in my head (my to-do list) and I just let myself be myself with them. I rediscovered a lot.

Madeline was darling as she explored and loved every minute of it. She's been very needy (as I've written about in past posts) and I have neglected to realize that she is probably going through similar outdoor withdrawals just as I am. She spent all spring, summer, and fall outdoors. She loved the outdoors and when the weather finally turned cold she became whiny.

Sure, shes been teething. But seriously, I am realizing she is literally climbing up the window because she wants to be outside. She stares out the window and asks to go out all the time. How confusing for her! I hate the cold so I don't take her out. The kids do a little but not much. Realizing this will definitely help me help her.

Bea and I talked about seeds, trees and moss. She asked me about trails and the posted signs as we waked on trails at the park. I pushed Madeline in the stroller and we had a great time. I really loved just listening to Bea chatter on. We took some moss home and Bea made a moss garden. It's been forever since I just enjoyed them without being rushed or thinking about the house. I miss that.

At bedtime it was still 68 degrees. Bea and I went outside to tell the moon goodnight. She always calls the moon her moon. I told her she could touch the moon and I took a picture of her. She ran inside so excited to show everyone her picture. Her excitement was amazing.
I'm telling her, "Keep reaching! Keep reaching! Hold it! You are holding it right now!"

Today at the park, Everett (6) tripped on some branches on the way to the car, he exclaimed that he "found nature." It made me laugh as he came up with a tiny acorn cap in his hand and a big smile on his face. He loved it, however, he ended up losing it on the way to the car. He wailed over his loss. I walked him over to a random tree and we gathered black walnut shells that looked like little boats and the nut meat that resembles owl faces. This delighted him and he no longer wanted an acorn hat. The ones I found to replace his were too big anyway he said.

The kids swung on vines with their friends. It was just a fabulous day. I feel so inspired and refreshed.