In this month's M&B column, Giovanna Fletcher says 'let the air blow away the cobwebs of winter and recharge you!"
A man once told me that sons are pretty much the same as dogs. The stranger explained the statement by adding that boys find contentment as long as three simple needs are met. They need to eat lots, sleep lots and then be taken on long walks – or have a big chunk of time dedicated to physically exhausting themselves. I’d like to say I grumbled at the comment – I’m not that fond of comparing children to pets – but I found it hilarious.
There’s a complete truth in what he said. My boys love their food, they function best when they’ve all slept well, and they have so much energy that getting them to do something active with their bodies is a must. I’m sure this is actually the same for girls too, so let’s all rejoice in the fact that the sun has started shining her wonderful warm rays over us, allowing the back doors to be left open at home and our children to run around outside in the garden as and when they please.
Everyone is happier when the sun is shining, and I wonder if part of that, for all of us, is the freedom being outside brings. There’s more space for children to run around and play dizzy dinosaurs. They can kick balls or throw things without being told off (providing they aren’t aiming at the house), they can revel in endless water play – even run naked through the sprinklers if they wish (providing there’s no hosepipe ban).
They can climb and jump as much as they wish (it makes a nice change to them jumping on the sofa and being told not to!), they can take pots, pans and spoons out and make ‘dinner’ with mud or sand. They can have picnics on the grass, do some gardening, or go on a hunt for creepy crawlies! A whole heap of activities seem to present themselves when the weather improves – from exploring in the bushes to creating something artistic, the possibilities are endless!
In all honesty, the weather didn’t stop Buzz and Buddy from getting outside in the winter months (even rain can keep them inside), but it is nice for them not to have bright red cheeks and noses when playing out there. Buzz has just mastered riding on a bike with no stabilizers, and I’m pretty sure Buddy will have done the same in a few weeks (we just have to get him a bike he can fit on). It’s highly likely that Max will learn to walk this summer too – so I’m glad he’ll be able to learn on soft grass rather than on tiled or wooden floors like his brothers. It’s nice knowing my summer baby has the safer option!
For us grown-ups, the freedom that comes from being out in the garden is all in the stopping and watching. You can let the air blow away the cobwebs of winter and recharge you! There’s so much joy that comes from seeing kids enjoy the simple things in life – fresh air, nature, friendships and their imaginations. There really is nothing like children laughing as they play outside – it’s one of life’s most joyous sounds.
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