Before my children grow into that phase when being grounded means they can't go out with their friends, I want them to be thoroughly grounded in another way. I picture that grounding to look something like this:
|A fort in the woods|
Sometimes, I find myself holding the kids back from grounding opportunities. I don't want them to get dirty. I don't want them to get lost. Mostly, I don't want them to get hurt. I am not fluent enough in the ways of nature to judge the "risks" and therefore I just keep the kids away from all of them. But there is risk in that, too. The risk there is a denial of a vital part of childhood - of human life at any age, really. I know how great I feel when I am close to nature, either paddling on the lake or walking in the woods or sitting at the beach. I have sometimes wished I could bottle that feeling, leave it on my mantel, and take from it when the daily grind wears on me. Perhaps, though, I should look at it differently. Perhaps, the bottle of restoration is all around, and I just have to find them here and there. Maybe I take the kids on a longer walk to the bus stop to go past the creek instead of just houses. Maybe I look a little closer at the family activities hosted by our local nature center or state parks. Maybe I should make it a habit, put it in the schedule, and be as deliberate about getting my children grounded as I am about their healthy eating and regular bedtimes. From this little corner, that seems like a good way to ground my children, and myself.