Parenting Green: Rebuilding Nature Awareness
Hurry up and Wait
From one thing to the next, in the car seat, out of the car seat, at the camp, off the bus, in the car, out the door, in the building, out the store, off the playground, at the table, to the party, and then…. on the beach. The best summer moment my family has had yet this year was exploring a new swimming spot at the convergence of two rivers, with rocks to jump off and tiny rapids and pools with frogs and craw fish to catch. We spent over four hours absorbed in this small section of river, and it felt so real!
Ironically enough, I picked up a book while rushing around during the day. Stopping quickly at the library, between diaper deliveries with my nine year old, I spotted it… Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children. Though what I thought I was picking it up for was not what I ended up getting out of it, which was how to re-build nature awareness. Tom Brown’s advice as to the best way to accomplish this… really get into your surroundings and bask in it with your kids!
As most working parents, I too have been funneled into a very scheduled, routine, and prompt life-style managing children and family and business. I want to re-connect with a sense of immersion and wonder for the natural world, and summer presents the opportunity. With our kids off from school, we have more hours together than any other time of the year to explore, or even just sit and watch nature move around us. We only need to slow down enough to take it in.
Our lives are full of distractions and there are so many conveniences that it leaves less time to just be out in nature, or even for kids to get excited about just that. It’s about making time, for it’s truly valuable even if they don’t know it or want it. We all need it and have to carve it out for ourselves, just like we make time for the other stuff.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angie Gregory settled in the Western MA 6 years ago after many years of traveling the country. She lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and three kids and is an avid gardener and studies herbal medicine. She has worked in the community fostering projects like Grow Food Northampton and started Mother Herb Diaper Service out of her home after the birth of her second child. Her business is now a cooperative venture and has relocated to Holyoke, MA under the name of Simple Diaper & Linen.