Friday, July 11, 2014

What Our Kids See

During most of the school year, I lead a weekly family wilderness outing in my community. Parents arrive with their children from newborns to teens, all clad in rain gear and rubber boots, and we slog around together through the creeks and ferns, bluffs, forests and swamps. And we all leave exhausted and wet and muddy, most of the time. It's wonderful.

What is especially beautiful for me to see is the engagement of the parents. I don't go to lead the children with parents in tow, I go to spend time with other parents exploring the wilderness, and our kids come too. Our kids watch us discover birds' nests and wild foods, signs of logging, animal activities, geologic change and weather. They see us engage in conversation and questioning about the things we see and the world we live in. Those of us who do bring cell phones are so engaged in what we're discovering that we don't have time (or clean hands) to use them. The children see their mothers crawling over muddy rotten logs and cradling millipedes in our hands.

Our children see us.

That is the point.

And when they grow up they will carry intrinsic memories of what being adults looks like.

I love what we're looking like!

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