One of my favorite things I love about our house is the yard. It's large, with a lot of beautiful, mature trees, lush, green grass and for once in our lives we're not situated on or near a busy street. In fact we're tucked away in the middle of a quiet neighborhood, at the end of a cul-de-sac. I often get a little thrill when we pull up to our place and I see this little oasis surrounded by trees and grass and I think, that's our home. As it turns out, the grass really is greener in Cincinnati. Not metaphorically... I still have mixed feelings about putting down roots in the Queen City, but look at that grass! It's like a field of freshly polished emeralds.
I was excited about the yard and trees and cul-de-sac before we moved here, but I didn't realize the value of these things in real life. This yard means I can go outside and do any number of chores--weeding, building a stick teepee or cleaning out the garage--while my 1 year old runs wild and free.
To be clear:
The things I am doing: Weeding, making a teepee out of sticks, garage cleaning, lounging on a blanket, what have you.
Things I am NOT doing: Keeping my baby from running into a busy street, yelling at her to come back to mama right this instant, hovering over her every move.
An unexpected little freedom we have heretofore not experienced.
The student becomes the master.
Zuzu's latest love affair is the swing set. This swing set is of the "they don't make them like they used to" variety--metal and SO tall--and since it was missing a swing I jimmy rigged our plastic toddler swing to the old chains (don't be alarmed, but packaging tape was involved in this transaction). Now she gets one glimpse of the swings and takes off in her familiar (but all too fleeting!) toddler run that is surprisingly steady for as wobbly as it looks.
And then my heart melts.
And then we swing. Or rather I push her while she swings.
And this is not just a freedom I'm enjoying with a busy 1 year old, our other two girls spend hours outside each day when weather permits. PSP considers herself a rather skilled tree climber, and even has created a sort of make-believe town with her friends from the surrounding trees--there's a pantry, the bedrooms and a meeting place. Note: Most of the climbing trees actually belong to our neighbors, all of which are delighted to have little girls climbing their trees. And Lamp loves taking her new chair out side where for the most part, she can keep up with the big girls. And sometimes, she gets in the trees too.
Since I know someone is going to ask... We are loving our new shoes from Mon Petit Shoes. They are so soft and really high quality. Also, for Lamp they were totally down with making two different sizes to accommodate her needs for any other special needs mama's with similar concerns out there. One reason I love supporting small businesses. Styles for both boys and girls--check them out!
The thing is, for years my husband was like "Cul-de-sac! Quiet street!" and I was like, 'Beautiful victorian! Amazing, mid century modern!"And let the record show that I would not change those other two homes for anything. I loved them and felt we were right where we were supposed to be for those times in our life. It's just that I've always believed that the indoor space trumped the outdoor space, and when push comes to shove it still does.
BUT having this grand yard has really shifted that perspective. It's like having another room--a really, really big room that your kids can totally mess up as much as they want. Even more than that, I'm reminded that something in theory vs. something in reality is often very, very different. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, but truthfully you don't really know until you try. So my free advice for the day is maybe give that theoretical thing a try. It may be worse, it may be better--either way at least you'll know.