Monday, October 18, 2010

A great day for a ramble

On two occasions since my last posting, I was sharply reminded of the fact that I do not get outside enough.  Or, more importantly, I don't take my daughter outside enough.

The first was a short and, what I suspect was, an off-the-cuff speech at the Statewide Leave No Child Inside Call to Action Rally on September 24th by the Director of Ohio's EPA.  Chris Korleski stood up and lamented not spending enough time outdoors with his own children and openly wondered how much he was missing.  Director Korleski then advised us all to "get off our butts" and get outside with our children before too much time has passed.  It was an informal and funny pronouncement, but it hit home with a lot people.  Shortly afterwards, ODNR Director Sean Logan introduced a Proclamation from Governor Strickland that reads that all Ohio children shall have the opportunity to by physically active, have access to nature, discover plants and animals, and learn how to give back to nature.  These two speeches gave me pause about my own efforts with my daughter.  And, I know I wasn't the only one in the room looking in the mirror as it was one of the primary discussions at the end of the event. 

The other was a small, seemingly insignificant act that my daughter did the other night.  I'd had a bit of a rough day at work and, while I normally am pretty good about not bringing work home, either in my hands or in my head, I had gotten on the computer to check and see the progression of a discussion that was ongoing on emails at work.  My daughter, who is not quite two, came up and physically pulled my hand off the computer mouse and repeated "Outside!!" over and over again as she pulled.  At first, I tried to put her off, but she is a pretty persistent little girl and kept pulling and yelling "Outside!"  Then it hit me...she's right!  And off we went. 

I put her in the car and we went down the road to the new Natural Play Area I'd read about at Prairie Ridge Metropark.  It was a beautiful fall evening and I was surprised that there weren't other people there.  But, I was also glad.  We had the whole place to ourselves.  So, we took a walk, she got filthy dirty in her pink bibs as she stumbled and bumbled around down the paths.  It put me to mind of one of her books where Piglet tells Pooh "It's a great day for a ramble."  These natural play areas are really a great way to let kids explore off trail the way we used to when we were kids.  I'm glad that parks are starting to add these to their offerings.  And, I know my daughter loved it too. 

Have you rambled with your kids today?