I Remember Being Forced To Play Outside

Yesterday, with a weather forecast calling for four days of rain, I told my children that they had to play outside.

At 1:00 (it was a half-day at school), I brought them out.  I sat on the front steps, the door to the porch open and the door into the house closed.  And, with visiting playmates and each other, they played outside.  For four hours...

The fort.  The logs.  A sled.  Collecting bark.  A warship.  A rescue helicopter.  A ladder hanging from a tree branch.

Four hours.

And I remembered, as a child in a small town, living down a dirt road in 'the woods', how my aunt would gather my mother and their friends to sit and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and play scrabble.  They would usher the kids outside and actually lock the front screened door.  We were forced to play outside.

There was the injustice of the one little girl who was allowed in with her mom, there was a bit of whining through the screen, but much more than that, there were hours of creative play among the trees and in the dirt. 

I'm sure we bickered, but the adults rarely interfered intervened.  I remember those hours outside much more than I remember any time playing with toys inside.

I realized yesterday that you don't have to live in a small town, down a dirt road, in the woods for kids to have this experience.  Though I didn't lock them out yesterday, I did challenge them.  And they rose to the occasion.  I look forward to many more days of this as Spring continues to reveal itself.


Spring is Coming

O stepped out the door on Monday and exclaimed "Look!  There is grass!".  And really, there it was again.  A small patch of grass amid the slowly disappearing mountains of snow.  And all of a sudden, it is a bit easier to find color around here.  Aaaahhh...