Editors note: This is a guest post from Joanna McCaffrey. It is part of the series Choosing to Connect. If you would like to participate click here for details.
Over to Joanna…..
We have precious few opportunities to be together as a family. I’m working full time and Daddy is now taking some jobs, so our son Little F spends more and more time with grandparents. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to leave him with family rather than pay for care, but I’d love to be able to spend more time with him myself.
Every weekend we try to plan something special to make the most of the time we have and create happy memories. This usually amounts to doing something outdoors, whether it’s visiting a new park or getting out of London for a walk and nice pub food. There’s no fireworks or spending buckets of money, but for me it feels like Christmas comes every week.
I know that Little F won’t remember these days; he is too young for that. Though I like to think that if we keep up the family tradition of outdoor days he will see it as a pattern. All the day trips and holidays will probably mix and mingle, but there will be a green, happy streak running through his childhood memories.
Daddy and me always liked to go for walks, big and small, as it helps us talk. At home there’s always something to do or read or watch. When you’re walking and there are no extra distraction talking comes so much easier. We both know that if there is a problem we need to stick our shoes on and go for a walk to talk it over. It helps us keep our relationship strong.
Taking Little F out with us was natural from the very beginning. Walks were the only times we’d have an opportunity to talk, as it was when he slept best. Now that he is 16 months and loves to roam, trips outside help to keep him healthy, strong and preoccupied. And of course he learns with every step (picking up crunchy colourful leaves, tasting sweet grass, collecting rough stones, squishing wet mud between fingers…).
It is wonderful to see Little F learn and discover the world around him. Nothing is too small (or too disgusting) to be worth his attention. Through spending time with him I am taken back to my childhood, which – thanks to my parents – was largely spend in mountains, forests and the countryside
Now that days are getting shorter and the weather turns colder we still go out, all snugly waterproofed. It is important to keep our relationship strong and show Little F how wonderful nature is. It is important to us that our son loves nature, because it is what helps to keep our love strong.
Mud makes a great cement.
Joanna is a working mummy blogger and freelance writer. She works in guest relations, making sure everyone is happy. She enjoys being with her family, doing yoga or writing. Joanna’s blog – Mum in Search of Balance – is a record of a bilingual (Polish and English), green and veggie family life, with weekly dashes to green spaces. You can connect with her via twitter or facebook.