Posted in family, grandchildren, Reconciliation, rural life

#Sundaystills Right out My Door

I was going to skip this last week for a large number of reasons (and indeed may be already too late to link up) with the Sunday stills theme of the great outdoo

But…this week the theme was front and center at Nan’s house. I had enrolled my “littles” in at Timbernook for a session called “Little Wild Ones”.  This international outdoor school has a location literally right across the road from me; 1.5 km down a big hill. Our outdoor adventure included getting there.

A little dot in the distance is Young A. The trail was way more fun than the gravel road.

It’s nestled in the grove of trees and year round (+35 or -35) you will find Miss Shelley and a wonderland of opportunity. There was, for this particular camp, no specific focus but rather just a chance to explore, play and interact.

Which is exactly what my grandchildren needed. They’ve spent a great deal of time outdoors in the pandemic; with momma, daddy, Grampa and Nan. They have rarely seen other children except our rare zoo outings. So it was time and with their parents blessings we kept them for 3 nights and off we went.

We started each morning with story time up in a little tea nook lying on cushions in the shaded little corner. Unknown to me, after we read all the stories on the first day, Young A asked Miss Shelley if there would be new books each day. I felt that was a very independent idea that she carried out.

It’s a good thing there were no real expectations. They were not really glue sticks to me but they certainly spent a lot of time beside each other. The wee lad said exactly one sentence that wasn’t addressed to his sister or I. He asked a 2 year old girl “why did you put the doll in the big bucket of water”. She didn’t answer.

Water play, the ladder, circling the fire pit and side by side kitchen play.

On day 2 they both explored alone a bit more and Young A interacted with another girl about her age and her little sister. They all spent some time on or pushing the swing  which was a hot ticket item for learning to share. The little sister had a life crisis when Young A pushed her gently and slowly. She also stopped the swing quickly and then she and Miss Shelley talked about how sometimes it’s not what we do that makes other react but rather how they feel.

Young A pushing her new playmate on the swing.

It was hot hot hot out so each day had a water theme to the outdoors. The first day was thunderstorms (the sprinkler rained on us), the second day was water play and there were buckets of it everywhere and the third day was bubble day. Interestingly enough the wee lad, on day 3, spent most of the just observing. He’d had a less than stellar night and perhaps was just over tired or over heated. By the time he got into the bubbles the session was over!

Bubbles and a slippy slide become safe to explore when everyone else exits.

The great outdoors and “big play” are important for development of many life skills. Which makes my grandchildren triply blessed as they live a rural life with regular access to life unplugged. Plus they get a lot of native prairie time here where we focus on flowers, plants and animals. Then add in the outdoor school session and they have such an advantage.

One that many children do not have. Made all the more obvious as we learn more information about residential schools. Even now it’s a very uneven playing field for many Indigenous and Inuit children; especially those who must still leave their communities to get an education.

Which is one reason I felt some hesitancy about posting. But life goes on. We need to find the balance on how we work on truth and reconciliation while continuing to live our lives mindfully enjoying our privilege and blessings. It’s complicated or at least I am finding it that way.

Bernie

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I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

10 thoughts on “#Sundaystills Right out My Door

  1. What a great opportunity. My grandson LOVES being outdoors and I hope that love continues. I can see why maybe you wouldn’t want to share, but I love how you shared the last paragraph. Great perspective.

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    1. It is a great opportunity and one she is fortunate to have. I can’t see these two grandkids of mine changing their mind about the great outdoors — momma and daddy are outside people in a big way. Yes it’s all about finding the right perspective isn’t it. Hope you have some outdoor time planned for you and your grandson this summer. Thanks again for stopping in to read. Bernie

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    1. Tracey, it was just an awesome 3 days. I feel so blessed that I have this wonderful connection with my grandchildren and so much of it is centered on the great outdoors. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Take care. Bernie

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  2. What wonderful outdoor experiences you have shared about your grandchildren, BernieLynne! You really live in a wide open territory I imagine is filled with wondrous critters and plantlife. I don’t think a parent or grandparent can ever overstimulate a child’s outdoor play or limit their experiences. My parents dragged us kicking and screaming to Yosemite NP every year when we were kids and I resented it as a teen. As much as I enjoyed camping for 2 weeks, I longed to be home with my friends. When I got married in my 20s, working and finishing school (aka being stuck at hone) I secretly wished my dad would whisk us away back to Yosemite. The cool thing is the legacy of leisure you are instilling within your grands. Someday they will pass that on to their own. Nicely done, Nan 🙂

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    1. Ah thanks Terri. We have a very special relationship with them as we see them weekly at least. It was outside all winter long but we never quit going even if it was just a 30 minute visit. They both come by the outside genes naturally as there is no place daddy would rather be and momma isn’t far behind. They just needed the extra time to see other children. It was very interesting to watch them interact or not in the wee lad’s case.
      Thanks again for hosting and for reading the blog – you get so many responses it must be like a full day of reading and responding!

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  3. Glad the Littles got out to play with others. This has surely been one of the hardest parts of the pandemic, limited contact with friends and playmates (even for adults, but especially for kids). Perhaps the expansion of broadband will bring education to remote regions and indigenous people and eliminate the need to leave their community until they are older. Stay well Bernie. Allan

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    1. Yes the 2 year has nothing to base these experiences on. The 4 year old remembers a lot of the things we used to do. They will adjust.
      I had wondered with so much schooling now on line of it might mean students wouldn’t have to go south for education but you need quality internet for schooling. We can be hopeful this will happen.

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