Here is a little something that I have noticed; when children go outside to play their perspective changes. The once tired, groggy child flies through the back door laughing and giggling- kicking off their shoes in their haste to tell you what they found or did. It is like someone turned a switch.
Here in the Midwest, we do not get the out-of -doors times this time of year. It is cold and dreary. The kids fight. The snow turns to rain- except today. It is a great day when the windows can be opened to allow the fresh air to flow through the house and the children’s voices can be heard in a distance as they run and play. I love that time of year and am looking forward to it. Getting outside for even a small portion of the day stabilizes everyone.
This play time is vital for foster children. It cannot be duplicated in the local restaurant with a playland. The fresh air offers fresh perspective. The foster child struggles to find their base. They have been hurt and do not trust. They risk losing their childhood in a sea of difficult memories. Playing outdoors offers those replacement memories. They offer good times. Something as simple as eating an unexpected picnic on the back deck can send the happy vibe streaming through a child’s body. It is that vibe that constitutes memories that are held onto. Replacing hard memories with new, promising memories offers hope to the children in your care. It is worth every effort made.
As I sit here, I can see my daughter walking across the lawn. She is carrying a sword in one hand and Nerf gun in the other. She is off on her own adventure. She will come inside shortly and proclaim that she has slain every giant and the yard is now safe for me. I love the days that the kids can go out. It gives me a break and brings the much needed color back to their cheeks. Tomorrow we are due snow and sleet but for now we will enjoy the mild break we have had. It will motivate us to make plans for the Spring and while the snow falls, perhaps we will look through the seed catalogs and dream about getting outside again.
I cannot wait for spring and summer to come. The children are so healthy and happy that time of year.