The Friday after Thanksgiving, while Andrew worked from home, I took the boys for a little hike at Laumeier Sculpture Park. Milo had recently visited with the other third-years at his school and wanted to show us the big empty swimming pool where he and his friends had run and played for their recess.
When we visited, it was chilly and overcast, but really the perfect weather for being outdoors in the woods. We came all bundled up, but once the boys started moving, they shed their layers pretty quickly. And Milo, who had been moody and broody all morning long, came back to life like he always does when thrust outdoors.
We made our way through the pathways and outdoor exhibits until we found the structure Milo had told us about. And sure enough, there was a huge pile of leaves leftover from the students’ fun and games. And though I had planned to take them on the 1.6-mile hike through the forest, they were having so much fun that I decided to just let them be. It’s always the best decision, as they end up having so much more fun when there’s unstructured play time.
Their choice of activity? Jumping in the leaf pile after fluffing it up pretty well, despite the disapproving looks from other parents who wandered by. Ha, ha! Story of my life.
We explored this part of the park for a couple of hours before heading back home with rosy, wind-whipped cheeks, back home to warm up Thanksgiving leftovers and hot chocolate and enjoy an afternoon lazing around the house. I just love this time of year, and vow to make it outdoors more than we did last winter. It makes us all happier, healthier, and nicer to be around!
As we enter this time of holiday frenzy, we are purposeful in our quest to slow down and enjoy the natural world around us, to focus on the quiet nature of winter, and to cozy up and be with each other, talk to each other, enjoy each other every day. We hope you and yours are well today!