A little while ago we went away on a family holiday to the Berg. I’ve often heard it said that “each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” This was such a special time together and I am so happy to know that we made so many new memories for our children to treasure.
The weather wasn’t so great, it was a bit chilly and even rainy on some days. Yet for the first time in my life this didn’t worry me. We were all together, we were relaxed, and we still had fun indoors when it was miserable out. We built a fire, we played boardgames, we read books, and we even caught up on a few naps.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m more of a conservative mom when it comes to the weather conditions. Life is just so much harder with two small littlies when they are sick. So when my daughter asks me if she can play outside and it’s windy, I rather suggest something to do inside, and when she wants to splash in the puddles I say maybe later. It comes from a place of love, of wanting to protect her from being ill. It also comes from a place of self-preservation, from acknowledging a struggle somedays to keep my head above water with juggling the demands of my two young children. But that doesn’t mean I miss seeing the disappointed look on her face and feel my heart break a little to see her sadness. That doesn’t mean I wish I was more of the cool mom, the happy go lucky mom who bundles her kids up and lets them play outside even when it’s windy, or pops some boots on and says sure go jump in the puddles.
So when we were away and Amy asked if she could go and jump in the puddles, I thought why not and kitted her and Ethan out in their gumboots and let them go splash a little in the muddy puddles. That evening I asked her what her favourite thing about that day had been, and I felt my heart grow when she said splashing in the puddles. I have fond memories of when I was younger and went for dips in the mountain streams that run through this area. Inspired by her enjoyment of the puddles the day before I decided to go looking for a stream. I packed a change of clothes and some towels and we set off. Unfortunately, because there had been heavy rain during the night the streams were now big rivers that were now running too fast to have a dip.
But while walking back to our chalet we discovered a smaller stream and I stripped them down and they went for a quick dip. Squeals of delight at the surprise of the chilly water and squelching mud were more than enough to know this was now the new highlight of their day. A quick walk back to the chalet and into a warm bath with more happy laughter and then some hot chocolate in front of the fire inside made this day extra special, and one that will live on forever in my memory bank too.
“Encouraging your child to go outside in all weather builds resilience, but most importantly it saves them from spending their life merely tolerating ‘bad’ days in favour of a handful of ‘good’ ones – a life of endless expectations and conditions where happiness hinges on sunshine.” Nicolette Sowder