A Man and His Thoughts

The random thoughts of a common man

The Simple Things

cropped-fall_1.jpgThis afternoon was simply an amazing fall day. The sun was shining, the temperature was in the high seventies and I was lucky enough to have the time available to enjoy it with my two youngest daughters. While playing outside with Merida (4) and Belle (16 months) I lay down in the grass and just looked up at the sky. I couldn’t even venture a guess as to the last time I had done that although I would guess it has been a decade or better. It felt so good to just relax and stare up as the wisps of clouds lazily crossed the azure sky. What made it even better was that the two little ones laid down next to me and joined me in that peaceful moment. I found myself wishing that every day included moments like this one.
Such a simple activity, yet all three of us laid there enjoying every moment of it. I couldn’t help but wonder when kids started skipping these things and began needing constant stimulation from video games, cell phones, tablets, PCs and television. I’m guilty of it as well but back in my day (I have become the grumpy old man!) we would spend hours on end enjoying the outdoors. I watch my children outside and they struggle to find thing to do. It takes them a full half an hour of complaining before they come up with an idea and begin to play. It is almost as if their imaginations start slowly, like a car trying to start on a cold Michigan morning.

Sometimes we have to take them bake to the basics and ban electronics for the day. They can read or play but it has to be done outside. As a family we will go to the nature trails and walk through the forest and around the lake. As much as they complain about not having their Nintendo 3DS or Google Nexus 10, they absolutely love the nature walks. The last time they spotted a turtle sunning itself on a lily pad and you would have thought it was greatest thing since sliced bread. One of their favorite spots is a little finger of land that juts out into the lake and is shaded by a small birch tree. Out there they have a prime spot for watching schools of minnows, water striders and Kingfishers hunting for their meals. There is a rest spot along a small creek that is another of their favorites because it has large stepping stones that allow them to cross from one side to the other. We talk about the different types of animal tracks we spot along the way and for the little ones it is always fun to collect acorns…and then throw them at things or each other! I love the enthusiasm and their pure enjoyment over these simple things. I only wish it wasn’t such a struggle to get them to enjoy and appreciate it on their own.

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This entry was posted on September 29, 2013 by in Kids, Nature, Observations.
Kristen Lamb

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