I am, by default, not an "outside" person. I think it probably goes hand in hand with being nonathletic - when I was a kid I would choose a book, craft, TV show, or a round of Barbies before outside play every time. However, I've noticed in the last few years a pretty solid pattern of my mood being affected by the weather, or rather, the seasons. I don't realize it's bad until spring hits, and Herb says that every year I become bubbly and say, "I didn't realize how blue I was feeling [during the winter] but now I feel great!"
As much as I don't love "playing" outside, I do realize my need for vitamin D and the sun and the fresh air. Also, I have realized the direct correlation between toddler napping/bedtime and time spent outside playing.
But, can I be honest for a minute? Some days we never go outside. Those days, especially when they are beautiful, feel like a total waste to me. I have no excuses except myself. I get so wrapped up in what we need to get done inside or what errands need to be run that I have gotten very lax in taking advantage of our fenced in back yard. Levi is also old enough now to know he wants and needs a play mate. There's no more sending him out to play alone for a bit while I prepare dinner (again, the yard is totally fenced in and I can see him from the kitchen). So, there's also laziness playing in to the scenario here - cause, you know, I'm not an "outside person."
I want to be. I love the smells, the sun, the breeze. It is so refreshing. I love the way Levi lights up with energy and excitement in the back yard. In fact, I have never enjoyed taking care of my yard until this year. Levi and I worked together at planting a garden and had great excitement looking for red tomatoes. Today the whole block was outside working on the leaf situation, and it was a nice sense of community (Levi was motivated by the leaf pile that awaited him).
I think part of the enjoyment of this spring/summer/fall has been how loooong and cold last winter was. When the snow finally melted and the sun returned, it felt so new and refreshing, in fact, I can't believe we're winding down already. Back to the early sunsets and cooler temps.
Ok, so be honest - how much time are you and your kids outside a day? What do you do? Any suggestions for what a mom and one four year old can do for fun outside beyond playing sports and taking walks? What do you do to combat the seasonal blues? Anyone want to send their slightly older kids over to play sports with Levi in our yard?