Rocks and trees, slides and swings, bugs and critters: our homestead playspaces are not soft places.
The other day as I was fixing up our slide for the kids, it hit me that many of today’s parents would take one look at it and shoo their children to something more safe. Maybe the sandbox.
Surrounded by rocks, no soft edges in sight.
Eventually, the terraces will be cleaned up and built up and beautified, but the rocks will still be there. The “danger” will still be there.
Our swings are attached to one of the very few suitable trees near the house, but they are not in an ideal location.
Our property is a wild place.
And it got me thinking. We are not a bubble wrap homestead. Or property is a wild place.
A place where kids can roam. Explore. Be free.
There are trees to climb, rocks to scale, bugs to find, and dirt to get into every nook and cranny.
And I love that about living in the country.
Kids learn to navigate the physical world with confidence when they are allowed to do so. Climbing high in trees, balancing on top of huge boulders, helps them learn balance and coordination. They learn what their body can, and can’t, do.
Sure, every once in a while, there’s bumps, bruises, and scrapes. There may even be a broken bone or two in our future. But bruises and scrapes and even broken bones heal. And you know what the truth is? Accidents and injuries happen even if you live in a bubble wrap world. Flower Girl broke her leg just by falling off the couch. And Princess Girl badly sprained her ankle just by walking down the stairs.
And so, we let our children run and play and explore and they are happy and healthy.