One of my biggest parenting regrets is how confined my children are. By geography, by rules, by my fears, by the realities of the world we live in.
When I was growing up I had room to ramble. There were no fences between the houses and the yards stretched out for mile after green mile. I don't know if it was wise, but people were also less concerned with kids being abducted back then, so we were given freedoms I would never allow my children.
My husband had it even better. He grew up on 450 acres in the middle of nowhere West Virginia. They call it “The Farm” even though they don’t grow anything or have any livestock. It’s just 450 acres of nature. Pure nature.
My kids are growing up in a neighborhood where every tiny plot is well-defined with fences and borders. They’re confined to our backyard, which, if you’ve seen my Let It Go – Mom Parody, you know is a small slab of concrete. An awesome slab of concrete with a kegerator and a basketball hoop (it's like the frat boy of backyards), but a small one. That’s their main domain. Sure, we hit the park, but that’s confined in it’s own way. Very rarely do they get a chance to just run, uninhibited, forever.
So when we visited “The Farm” last week, it was a revelation.
On the first day, my little city kids hid inside. Fears of bugs and bears kept them from the great outdoors. But once they did venture out, they fell in love. With space. And nature. And openness. They were free in a way they never have been. Mom wasn't running behind them yelling, “Watch the driveways! Don't go in the street! Don't talk to strangers!”
By day two, they were running, boundless, across the open fields. They were hiking in the woods and fishing in the ponds. They were scooping up tadpoles, picking blackberries and rolling in the mud. I loved seeing how liberated they were. And I loved that I didn’t have to worry about them running into the street or getting stolen by some creep. I was actually—wait for it—RELAXED for once in my life. I could let them ramble freely at long last. And it was awesome.
Here are some photos from the trip. You can see more on Instagram: