I loved playing outside as a kid, and I like to get the wee one out pretty much every day if I can. The beauty of outdoor play is that the world becomes your playground. Yes, the wendy house and the water tray in the garden are brilliant fun, but equally, so is the local park or nature reserve. A rock can be a fortress, keeping you safe from the incoming Pirates. A shell becomes precious treasure. A stick, a mighty sword. (Or as I believed as a child, seaweed is mermaid hair that has fallen out!) Magic. We forget as we journey into adulthood just how unbelievably adaptive our minds as children were; that feeling of becoming truly lost in your own imaginary world. One of the greatest pleasures I find with my daughter now is a chance to return to that state of mind. To crouch with her examining rock pools, to draw in the mud or the sand with sticks, throw stones in the water, run and run over fields, and lie on my back with her staring up at the sky.
It has been raining consistently here in Bolton for days now. It’s got to the stage where I felt if I see the interior of another soft play centre, I would explode. Yesterday morning, whilst watching our Pepper Pig DVD and staring gloomily out at the rainy day, inspiration struck! Go out anyway, damn it!
(Now this next bit is going to be tricky as I don’t have the techno skills to edit and insert my own visual montage, so you’ll have to make do with a descriptive one and picture it in your head.)
Queue the “A team” theme tune as back ground music. Close up of me pulling on my black wellies. Close up of me pushing on daughter’s Iggle Piggle wellies for her. Close up of me dressing myself and then child in waterproof coat (I feel an extreme close up on fastening top button would add a certain Je ne sais quoi, at this point.) A shot of smiling happy mother and daughter fully rain-proofed, high-fiving (possibly then with a thumbs up to camera? Or is this too much?) before car seat buckle snapping shut, car door slamming, ignition key turning, and off we go!
HA! We laugh in the face of rain! We splash in puddles, kick wet sand, run along the water’s edge and have a flipping marvellous afternoon.
Play with toys.
Play with mother nature.
Just play. (and then keep your fingers crossed that neither of you have caught a cold!)