We were out on an adventure again this morning. See, I’m one of those outdoor parents that gets the kids out of the house whenever the chance. I grew up that way, if it was nice outside, my mum would normally chuck me and my sister outside or we would go out walking somewhere as a family. And I don’t think it was just my parents, as far as I can remember, the whole neighbourhood was out on a nice day. And our definition of a nice day didn’t only include sunny and warm days either. Of course, I grew up in rural Slovenia and I don’t think in my village any parent worried about their kid getting into big trouble when he or she was out and about – no kids got snatched from the street, no one got shot or stabbed, usually the worst that could happen was falling off a tree you were trying to climb or into a ditch that the next door kid set up as a trap. And I once touched a cactus that my neighbour threw out into the bushes and ended up with a hand full of tiny needles. That was awful.
Now I live in suburbs of London and I wouldn’t exactly let my kids anywhere outside on their own (even in a few years’ time) apart from our fenced garden. But I still try and make sure that they are out and about as much as possible, discovering, poking, digging, climbing, jumping and falling over. I’m really blessed to live in an area that is overflowing with amazing parks, gardens and playgrounds. Today I could see it was going to be a gorgeous morning as soon as I got up. Yes, it was -2 degrees but it wasn’t wet or windy. So by 9.30am, I had both kids dressed in countless layers and we were heading out to Bushy Park. We decided to walk a different way than we usually do and the park was pretty empty and beautifully frosty. I didn’t even bother getting the buggy out and my girl was beside herself at the chance of wondering around at her heart’s desire. After we fed the ducks, we found some puddles that have frozen over and my son got on a mission to break the ice with a stick.
We had lots of fun and as we were driving back home, both kids were happily munching on their snack, radio was playing and I was the happiest lady around. I felt so grateful that I could run around with my kids on a Thursday morning, that I could be out on a glorious frosty morning like this. And when we got home and my son asked if he could watch some TV, I also didn’t feel as bad saying yes, knowing that he spent most of his morning outside.