Summer rains have seen my daughters do different things. The seventeen-month-old bangs the door, wordlessly pleading to get out into the garden. She runs around free, stomping puddles, pushing her little car around, generally whooping and enjoying the little piece of wilderness behind our house.
My four-year-old, on the other hand has taken to saying she doesn’t want to go out if it’s raining. This makes me a little sad because I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture. The fact is, I don’t want to go out if it’s raining.
And I’ve spent a lot of time putting obstacles in the way when it does, insisting she has to put on the boots and rainsuit (these days I sometimes let the younger one run outside as is, finding it easier to change her when she comes in if it’s not too cold and crazy out there). More times than not, I’ve suggested we do something other than go out in the rain. Because I don’t want to be out there myself.
Actually, when I have suited and booted them up and gone for a rainy stomp somewhere, we’ve all had a lovely time. So I’m inclined to think that my own attitude to the weather conditions has more of an impact than I want to admit.
I find it easier to wait for the weekends when Laurence is around so he can lead us on a walk, take us camping or find some other reason for us to go outside. Meanwhile, I am so conscious that I am the one here most of the time, that a childhood outdoors was one of the reasons we chose to home educate and that I don’t want them to think of it as his “thing”.
So I’m finding myself needing to re-commit to the outdoors. Being out in nature is too important for their happiness, their health, their imaginations, their peace, their inner wilderness for me to allow my disconnect to become theirs. And it’s too important for mine.
We took the photos in this post when we were at Dinefwr in Wales a few months ago. We stumbled upon it using the National Trust app and it turned out to be one of the most fascinating National Trust properties we’ve been to.
There’s a castle and a historic house, a pond (Talitha went pond dipping in it) and a medieval deer park. We did one of the tours and there is just so much history in that place. I love that it spans many eras and that the house is fully hands-on so you can sit in chairs and touch most objects. Do check it out if you’re ever over that way.