Playing in the Woods

There are maybe a couple acres of trees next to our home, with a fenced-in cell tower in the middle.

The little kids like to pretend it is “The Forest,” even though at this time of year, with everything dead and just some bare tree trunks visible, one can see clear through the entire thing to mobile homes on the other side.

Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun taking my little ones out there and making trails. It reminds me of being a kid and playing in the woods.

I try to imagine how the trees will fill out so as to plot trails that will be fun, intersecting at certain points, veering off, leading to adventure.

How pathetic is it that I resent the kids when they whine that it’s cold and they wanna go inside?

I certainly am not allowed to do anything inside: write, think, cook, clean, sew. I figure, at least outside we can do something together that everyone will enjoy.

I want my kids to be outdoors. I want them to take advantage of the “Forest” right next to us and let the trees house fairies, let them chase squirrels and bunnies, allow their eyes to soak in the natural shapes and colors.

When they think back on their childhood, I want them to remember something that wasn’t on a screen.

Maybe when they’re old enough to go out there on their own (the littlest ones are 2 and 4) it will be different. There won’t be some crochety adult cramping their style. They can be in charge of the jungle, in tune with the wild, absorbed in their own imaginations.

Meanwhile, step aside, young’uns. I got a trail to blaze.

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