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Monday, March 5, 2012

There Is Nothing Like A Walk In The Woods

By: Notes From The Frugal Trenches



















I've been a mother to two for six months. Adopting two children who have quickly become the lights of my life! As they are older, there is much pressure to do (though I'm sure this internal & external pressure can occur even if one has a wee babe in arms). I don't have many mummy friends, being only the second of all my friends to become a mother, the other had her first baby last year. The parents at the school gate are older and always seem so much more put together than I am. Their children seem to be masters at everything: yoga, ballet, tap, gymnastics, soccer, hockey, music, swimming and skating. They busily discuss how filled each weekend is with friend's Birthdays, which must be celebrated, and skiing and tutors and, and, and...For the first few weeks, or months, I wondered if I was doing my children a disservice. What if that tutor would make all the difference? What if not being able to skate yet becomes a sore point? What if they never catch up after such a rocky start in life? But slowly, one day, when on a long Sunday walk through the woods with a friend I realized something profound - my children are masters at nothing except being children. They know how to run, skip, hop and jump. They love collecting sticks (& counting them!), they like to giggle, laugh, tickle and be tickled. They like to explore and jump in puddles and visit farms and visit the ducks. And for them that is the good life.

Here's the truth, the six months has taught me a lot (though I have so much more to learn - oh how I hope the gaps close soon!), but most importantly it has taught me to listen to them, to push out the noise as much as you possibly can and just be. It has made me more and more committed to a simple life, a life not found by rushing to people's Birthdays each weekend, or spending each evening hurrying from one activity to the next. Yes, balance is important. Yes, hobbies can bring such joy. And slowly but surely my children are finding out what their interests are - for my daughter it is art, my son is a little actor (we are working on his confidence and I hope one day he will be at a place where he can join a small local theatre group). But more than that, if you ask my children what makes them happy they will answer: time with our family, going to the woods, knitting together and playing games. All of which are simple. All of which are free. All of which centre around just spending time together. And slowly but surely I'm learning the age old wisdom that there really is nothing at all like a walk in the woods with those that you love. The best things really are things that money can't buy.

10 comments:

LindaG said...

The best things really are things that money can't buy.

Amen. ♥

Martha said...

Family building first!, then there will be time for all the extras. Parents today push their kids way to much, and many end up pushing the children away. I am glad you do not underestimate the importance of bonding. :)

Mom to eight,(two adopted) and foster mom to many!

Terra said...

You sound like a wonderful mom. Let the children be children; as you said, they are experts at that.
I think there is too much scheduling for children, too many classes outside of school, etc. So you are on a great path!

Attila said...

What a lovely post; children DO need time to just be children. How many extra hours would you have to work to hothouse the poor little mites? No, they need YOU and each other and whoever else is involved and love and time and a walk in the woods.... not classes and tutors and pressure and competition.

Angela said...

Such a beautiful post and such a powerful reminder of what it means to just BE. I am so glad you are allowing your children to be children. Sometimes when I substitute teach I forget that I am with children -- they are more than just students (public education in general forgets that). I think it is wonderful that you have adopted two! They are so blessed to be in a family like yours. :-)

Robert Brenchley said...

I know how it feels since I became an instant stepfather to two traumatised kids who'd just been rescued from civil war in Sierra Leone. I'd have described them as the rulers of my life rather than the light; a lot of things went by the board when they took over!

sl.tudor said...

There is nothing like a child being a child..and watching them ..seeing the world through the eyes of a child is a most wondrous thing.The things we take for granted can be amamzing for them..i feel the same.I too see other mums almost frantically pushing the children to be grown up and sometimes wonder am i doing the right thing..but then i talk to my older girls and son and ask them this..i get " mum we had a great childhood full of happy days and laughing..going for walks and picnics just enjoying being with you and dad.."..so i live my life and let the little ones enjoy theirs..thats the key to happy children..no pushing no trying to get them to do things they don't want to..if they really want to then great but no pressure from me or dad..
You enjoy them littlies of yours and let them enjoy you.
sara

claudia said...

My wish is that more parents would realize that the kids will develope much better if taught and shown the simple things in life. There is always time later in life to be frazzled if that is the way they want to go!
My parents were always "on the go", but luckily I had my gramma and grandpa to teach me what really counts!

Suzanne with Laughing Wallet said...

Wonderful perspective. There is all the time in the world to "do" and "achieve" - their lives will seem like a never-ending treadmill of it at some point! So, yes, let them be children! Some of my best childhood memories are playing with my friends and my visiting my grandparent's house - not my piano lessons or gymnastics classes. :)

Scarlett said...

I beg you to let the children be children! I have taken a lot of flack for not having my daughter in every sport. Not being willing to drive her to three or for activities a night. I think it is more important to let our children learn what it means to live in a happy family. Let them learn to be mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. That is important. I don't hate sports, or other activities. I just don't think that it is best for our children to run from one thing to another.