I don’t ever really remember loving the outdoors. What I do remember is Mom pushing me to go outside occasionally and I’d make sure to bring my favorite book to read while settled in some shade. Even hiking as a little girl with Dad was filled with the thrill of spending Daddy Daughter time with him — not finding cool rocks, empty bullet shells, or wading through streams. As a young teen, I remember experiencing relief when my brother became old enough to take over my place as Dad’s hiking partner since I had found other ways to spend time with him.
Having a child who loves Loves LOVES going “ou-side” has been quite the growing experience for me. There hardly goes a day where she doesn’t wake up and beg to go “bye byes” or “ou-side”. We’ve been blessed with a great back yard that has a deck, shade, lush grass, and is COMPLETELY fenced in. I know I benefit from spending time in the fresh air and sunshine. It helps my mood and I always feel uplifted so long as it isn’t 85+ degrees with crazy humidity. Sweating isn’t on my list of mood lifters.
Going to the park is always fun, but Ella doesn’t have a healthy relationship with common sense yet and scares me to death half the time with her shenanigans. Not to mention the parks don’t have bathrooms or very gross bathrooms and being pregnant isn’t too conducive to hovering over the toilet seat. Playing in the backyard is obviously an option but she’s been getting a bit bored with the same things to play with and has taken to climbing up on the built in deck bench and trying to climb down the backside. If there was grass underneath, I would be more comfortable with her monkey like ways but there is hard pavement on that side of the deck AND the bench seat is about 3 feet off the ground. I’d rather not have to carry my daughter into the ER with a broken arm or split skull while in the late third trimester of pregnancy, thanks.
So last week, I hit upon an idea. Her turtle sandbox got dumped out earlier last month and had just been sitting there, empty and forlorn. I dragged it out from behind the trees and filled it with water. Color my girl child THRILLED to have her own pool! Stripped down to her diaper, hat, and sunglasses, she had a blast. Before long, she asked for her diaper off and I complied. Evidently, playing naked outside is the best toddler fun EVER. Although, I think we scandalized the man who mows the church’s lawn and our lawn. Every time he swung past on the riding lawn mower, he’d just shake his head and look away.