Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweet Freedom

Our house is on about seven acres of land. A. doesn't think this is enough, but that's only because he is both really into grazing animals that need a lot of pasture and not into having neighbors nearby. At all.

But of course, for a person living in an apartment or a quarter-acre city lot, it sounds like an unimaginable plot of land. It's also satisfactorily large if you happen to be four or two years old.

And I just happen to have a four- and two-year-old. How handy.

Those two love nothing better than to wave goodbye to me and set off on their own for adventure. I'm not supposed to come, you see. That's what makes it fun. Off they go, Cubby leading the way and Charlie manfully struggling along behind. Usually they go into the small gully on the other side of the garden fence. There's an old piece of farm machinery there they like to climb on.

Or they go into the hollow just beyond the forsythias to hunt or trap (pretend, obviously) or just whack trees with sticks or poke sticks in holes. Or whatever it is they do. I don't really know, because I don't go. I sit in the chair outside the dining room door, from which I can hear them if they yell and track their progress if I stand up to check on them occasionally.

But I'm not with them. They can't see me or hear me. They think they're on their own*. And this is the important part.

I often think how incredibly fortunate my children are to live where they do and have the freedom to explore that they do. They certainly wouldn't have this if we lived in a city or suburb. I can't help but think that it's going to have a positive effect on their characters.

Of course, it also means that I occasionally have to trek up there to rescue Charlie from his entanglement in the barbed wire fence on the perimeter. Or to look for a boot that he has mysteriously jettisoned somewhere in favor of tromping around in one boot and one muddy sock.

But in general, they do their own thing with no interference from me. Lucky boys. And lucky me.

* Except Cubby usually calls Mia to escort them, which she is happy to do. And I am happy to let her, because at least I don't have to worry about something coming out of one of those holes they like to poke sticks into. Mia can make short work of any irritated woodchuck they might encounter.


tu mere said...

The land is definitely a plus for the boys. The perfect place for their well-honed imaginations and love of the outdoors. Too bad the realities of life have to eventually change things.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the way I was raised. Mom used to say she would go to the door and listen for each child's distinctive whistle so she would know we were still above water. (There was a creek that ran on 3 sides of our home, and while we kids were in and out of it all the time, I'm certain that my Mom had many anxious moments. Having been raised on top of a hill, she never learned to swim.) At any rate, I have been referred to as "a character", so I'm certain your theory will hold up. I do so enjoy reading about your family, thank you for sharing.