Saturday, February 19, 2011

Planning a Dirty-Kneed Grass-Stained Spring and Summer

Don't be a Bubble Boy (or Bubble Gal);
take advantage of warming weather and get out!
Last year, I was way too much of a hermit. I'll own it: I love climate control. I love watching peaceful snowfalls from a warm house in the winter, and I really love me some AC in the summer. But I recently came to the conclusion that me staying indoors as the weather warms is not the example I'd hope to set for my daughters. Now that my youngest is walking, though unsteadily, I am really looking forward to a full springtime and summer. Some of the things that are on my mind:

  • I will try not to freak out as much over dirty hands, fingers, knees, and feet. Related: I will stock my car's trunk with a few clean outfits for each of my girls, and for me!

  • I will allow a little bit of sun exposure. Anybody who knows me knows that this is a huge and personal concession. Why? I'm a survivor of malignant melanoma. Sun exposure/Vitamin D creation is therefore the aspect of primal and paleo living with which I am the slowest in agreeing. But I've done plenty of reading on it, and Robb Wolf even recommended "baby steps" of sun exposure to a melanoma survivor in a recent podcast (starting around minute 54:50 of the podcast). I am finally coming around to the idea that lack of Vitamin D due to a hermit lifestyle could actually endanger me and my girls (in terms of immediate immune function and long-term avoidance of a host of other cancers), so this year I will give my skin and my girls' skin a chance to manufacture a little bit of Vitamin D before slapping on the SPF - I'm guessing about 10-15 minutes' worth of sunshine daily, in most cases.

  • I will get us out of the house to explore nature while walking and hiking. Another couple of mom friends of mine have each offered to show us some local hiking trails this summer. New places, fresh air, nature, and exercise, plus a potentially longer naptime later on? I am so in.

  • I will get to know some farmers. I don't have a CSA package, I haven't bought from a local source of beef or other animal protein yet, and I don't know my local farmers. Ack! Consider me a primal padawan in this respect. But I went primal last summer, so I'm still on the learning curve in a lot of ways. One practical way of dipping our toe in the water is checking out some local farms and farmers. I saw a pick-your-own-strawberries patch just a little drive from us, so there's one outing I can already pencil in for the springtime.

  • I will get us walking around the neighborhood. This is easier said than done, as any mom of small children will probably attest. Reasons:

    == It takes at least half an hour to get ready. First, you make sure that everybody is fed. Then, you attend to any diapers that must be changed, and make sure that all potty trained individuals make a trip to the bathroom. Find weather-appropriate clothes, shoes and socks, bottled water, insect repellent, sunscreen if we might be be out more than half an can see how this gets a little tedious.

    == Then once you actually succeed on getting out the door, you're 10 minutes into the walk, and the squawking begins: I'm thirsty. I'm tired. I have to go to the bathroom. And that's just the preschooler! The baby has a whole separate set of opinions of her own, too. :) Needless to say sometimes a family walk for us in this stage of life lasts about 20 minutes - in other words, less than the actual time invested in getting ready to leave the house.

    These obstacles notwithstanding, I want to persist in family walks because I want the walk ritual to be very much ingrained. For my kids to think: We eat dinner, then we go for a walk.

Are you hoping to get out more this spring and summer? What are YOUR plans to take in some more sunshine, fresh air, and wide open spaces?


  1. We love to geocache! A combination scavenger/treasure hunt and hiking, our whole family enjoys it. The kids get fresh air and activity and they don't miss the tv or their video games. All you need to start is a handheld GPS. I'm a bit of a freak for it, as anyone who's heard me get louder and louder and more animated as I tell them about it:)They look at me like I'm crazy, but I don't care! You can set out close to home, or plan day-long adventures.

  2. I love the word "geocache" because cacher means "to hide" in French. A hidden away surprise just for the geocacher! I would like to try this, too. Maybe I can round up a couple of other families to join us when I do! Have fun on your geocaching adventures this spring and summer.


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