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Make Room in Your Plans for Life

June 19, 2011

     Recently we had a big outside workday.  We had given the usual, “no playing until the job is done” speech and sent everyone to work.  They actually accomplished quite a bit and didn’t hide in the bathroom too many times.  When we’re on a roll, I don’t like to quit, so I envisioned my work force working until the sun went down. 

     It was around dinner time when three backpack bearing, camouflage wearing boys trudged through my living room headed to the great outdoors.  My first thought was, “Isn’t there more work to be done?”  But thank God my second thought came along before I opened my mouth.  The second and more important thought was, “Let them go, how often do they actually go outside to play?” 

     I asked where they were headed.  They let me know they were headed to the woods to build a lean to.  I could see water bottles and kitchen pot handles protruding from their packs.  I had to restrain myself in many areas, “where were they going – exactly, what else was in their packs, what were they planning on doing?”  I merely said, “Have fun!”  I let them go, out to the wilderness, actually the one acre of scruffy trees and bushes just west of our home, and I let them do whatever it was they wanted to do. 

     About an hour later I figured it was time to check things out.  I took the short hike to the “wilderness” where I found a fully constructed and substantial pine branch lean to, a blazing fire and five children huddled around the fire eating steaming ravioli.  Well at least I won’t have to make dinner.  The only mothering statement that escaped my lips was, “make sure you scrub that black soot off the bottom of my good pot!”

     The boys were sitting in folding chairs with half whittled sticks nearby.  The girls had made our wagon into a cozy loveseat and they were all in heaven in their very own special place.  The girls did not look at all like the lace clad visions I had day dreamed about.  They looked more along the lines of miniature hobos, but they were very happy miniature hobos.

     The time when these opportunities arise may not be the perfect time of our choosing.  The phrase, “lighten up” applies well here.  Do not be so stuck on fast forward that you cannot allow precious moment to happen.  On their own, when they choose to leave that video screen, make room in your plans for life.  Allow them to create the special place that lives in THEIR imagination.  Was that rustic little camp site my idea of a special place?  It was now because it was childhood in all its glory.  This lean to will stand in the woods as a monument to imagination and I will not tell anyone to take it down.  Only time and wind will do that.

NOTE:  I do want to point out that the oldest child in the group was sixteen and I had complete confidence in him.  He is capable of starting camp fires without starting other fires.  So use good judgment in flammable situations.


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