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Bite Your Tongue, Adventure is on the Move

April 9, 2012

Last week I shared with you how I came upon the remains of a childhood memory; an old lean-to in the woods.  We have continued to clean and mow in those woods, but what I long to see is yet another rustic childhood structure as a monument to childhood and adventure.  Today I am going to share a short excerpt from one of my books in process.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope it makes you want to run outside, alongside your kids and create a little adventure.

     The ability to become a mother of a creative child is a road covered with speed bumps.  The

very purpose of a speed bump is to slow you down.  Quite often those little streaks of rebellion

and busyness raise their heads and you drive around the bumps or find which bumps don’t

 damage the bottom of your car at full speed.  Dear Mama quit trying to avoid the speed bumps.

We’ve got plans, and we have places to be that just don’t fit in the schedule.  It is amazing but it

is the truth that spontaneity and creativity, and quite often true childhood, do not fit in the

schedule.  Just yesterday I was given another opportunity to learn this lesson and adjust.  If we

are in “full steam ahead” mode it is difficult to even catch yourself, but you must.

     Yesterday was 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.

     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.

     The time and opportunities that arise for these little adventures 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 we cannot allow these precious moments to happen.  On their own,

when they choose to leave that video screen, make room in your plans for life.  And then, 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 also

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.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. lilgurney permalink
    April 10, 2012 10:15 am

    Thank you always, for your awesome messages, Debbie!! I love to read them and be inspired and encouraged. God bless you!! 🙂

  2. Kelsey permalink
    April 10, 2012 10:35 am

    I love this! This blog is a reminder of my own childhood spent in the great outdoors, long before the whole ‘life’ thing took over. I love how your writing sparks my own imagination and sends me back to those wonderful childhood memories. Keep it up! 🙂

    • April 10, 2012 10:38 am

      Kelsey, you are a joy to me! You have a wonderful imagination to spark. I’m so glad you are in our lives!

  3. Edie Aldridge permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:18 pm

    I really need a Like button.

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