Send Children Outside

I swing the windows wide open and send my daughters outside.  It’s over sixty degrees today, and after a long winter, today feels Bermuda hot. 

We clean the cobwebs off the bikes, raise the seats, pump the tires, and then let the girls loose, ponytails flying.  We bring out the new chalk and jump ropes.  Still, they come back inside within a few minutes.  “Go!” I say, shooing them back outside.

I know what will happen.  If given enough time, they’ll remember.  With the brittle remains of winter, they will make a new world:  fairy houses and stick cabins from dried leaves, moss, and twigs.    

The oldest takes a book and lounges in the sun.  I don’t mind as long as she’s outside.  She’s at that age when a good book is like a dear friend.  Her little sister cajoles her away from reading and challenges her to a bike race. 

They haven’t forgotten what it means to play outside.  It takes some time to remember, though.  I watch them wander the yard, and finally, the oldest says, “I have an idea!  Follow me!”  And they’re off.

Do you remember playing outside all day until dinner?  

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