"Go play outside" is a phrase that was missing from my mom vocabulary up until this point. I spent all spring and summer trying to send my kids out in our un-fenced back yard while I studied indoors only to look up and wonder, where the hell have they gone! Every few minutes I'd look up out the screen door and, poof, no kids. They'd be playing with the hose, or in the drive way, or, my personal favorite, on the porch ringing the doorbell.
I don't know what did it, but suddenly something has changed. My kids ask to go outside. I bundle them up in hoodies or jackets, and hats and mittens, then out they go. They collect leaves. They make piles of sticks. They play pretend and are secret agents solving mysteries. They love it, *and* they stay in the back yard now. Which means I can finally get more stuff done.
"Go play outside." It's such a beautiful thing. I want to cry, I love it so much. Being a SAHM to two small kids, going back to school, and running a business is a lot. It only takes a straw to break the camel's back. But now the burden is eased! I've got an eight page paper due on urinalysis? "Who wants to go play outside?" Kitchen full of dirty dishes and two kiddos running and screaming like cowboys and Indians? "Go play outside!"
I've found myself a small sliver of ease. Slowly, but surely, I am gaining my sanity back. Ok, not sanity so much, as balance. I have time to take a break now. Just a few more minutes in my day to get things done. I will champion the insanity of my life.
The beauty of it all is that my kids benefit from playing outside too. They get a little vitamin D. They expel some of their boundless energy. They learn to play together. They develop creativity. By playing outside they gain independence. So I can feel good about sending them out to play. If only cookies were good for them...I'd be invincible.
Now go play outside!