Tempting as it is to shut the doors, close the curtains and curl up in front of the fire with a good book as the winter gets into its stride, I need to get outside. I need to breathe in that crisp air and blow away all the cobwebs as do all my children. Whether it’s jumping in puddles, climbing hills, running on the beach or winter sailing we need some outdoor adventures and we are not going to let a little thing like the weather get in our way, Hooray!
So, how do we persuade ourselves off the sofa and out into the world when it’s cold and wet? First and foremost we (I) make sure we all have weather appropriate clothing on – teenagers think this is ridiculous and insist they are ‘fine’ in a T-shirt, jeans/flimsy Indian harem trousers and converse (without socks) so I put coats and boots into the back of the car while studiously ignoring any tutting/moaning/groaning. I can then grin smugly to myself when we arrive, it is indeed cold and possibly wet and people are glad of extra layers and waterproof footwear.
If I forget, this happens.
We sail in the depths of winter which is both cold and VERY wet. Warm, wet weather gear isn’t an option here, it’s essential for survival! It’s pretty crucial in Summer too when it’s not always calm, plain sailing – things can get a bit frisky and I, for one, am not a fan of wet pants – waterproof trousers are a godsend!
But, truth be told, mine don’t need a lot of persuading to get outside. They moan a bit when it’s suggested but once they are there you can see their cares and worries lift away. I think it is hugely important to take children outside whatever the weather, no matter how old they are and let them feel the sun on their skin, the wind in their hair and the salt spray on their lips. Children and adults need to stretch their legs and fill their lungs, to look into the distance away from screens and gadgets, to listen to the world around them, to smell the sea, to recharge and regroup and being outside lets them do all these things with ease.
Bonus Boy is probably our biggest beach fan, literally leaping for joy when we get there.
But they all run up there given half a chance! There are stones to skim, pebbles to collect and wild waves to run from.
I love that the outdoors unites us in a way the indoors doesn’t. As they grow they spend less time with us, choosing to spend time with friends or holed up in their rooms, so these moments together walking, sailing and enjoying just being outside, together, are all the more precious.
A love of the outdoors, exploring and adventuring has been such an important part of their childhoods that I am delighted to see it becoming part of who they are as young adults.
And, as for him…there’s no stopping him!
What are your favourite outdoor adventures?