Spring Has Sprung

Spring is here. I love it! 

Early spring and late fall are the only times that my whole family is willing to be outside together.  Hubby, Knox, and Lil' C are pretty much outside whenever.  I don't like to sweat or shiver, so that takes care of two seasons for me (and obviously Baby E since we're joined at the chest these days). And Slim...poor Slim.  He doesn't like to be outside during any time insects are flying in the air.

Cowboy Slim
In his defense, the poor child has been stung by bees, not once, not twice, but on five different occasions.  The first time was in our own backyard, and he stepped on a hive.  The combination of his high-pitched, nasally voice and the flurry of movement from all four of his limbs panicked the poor bees, and they were all over him, even under his clothing. My brother is allergic to bees, so we were quite concerned for Slim.

Fortunately for him, he is not allergic to bees.

Because they just find him.  In our backyard, on the playground at school, on the soccer field, hiding inside his towel at the pool.  I don't fault him for freaking out about anything with tiny wings that comes near him.

But it makes enjoying outdoor time as a family very difficult.

We have a lovely backyard.  We have a beautiful patio, comfortable furniture, and an outdoor fireplace.  Trees shade our fenced-in yard, and it feels private (although I know the reason our next-door neighbors don't talk to us anymore is because our kids yell too much at each other and Hubby and I yell too much at our kids.  But anyhoo...)  It's nice to sit back there and watch the boys play or kick a soccer ball around with them or push them on the swings.

Lil' C=too darling for words, ifIdosaysomyself.

It's just that we can't get Slim to come out and join us...until last week.  The weather has been absolutely perfect.  Just warm enough, but not warm enough to perspire (bonus for me).  A slightly cool breeze, and none of that sticky Midwest humidity that brings out the bugs.

Every day last week after school, the boys were outside.  And I soaked in every "moment to be enjoyed."  I pushed people on swings and played yard games and kicked a soccer ball.  There was even one moment when my large ass went down a small slide.

My cardio=keeping all three swings going

Every spring I know I have to enjoy all I can because soon, the humidity will return, the flowers will bloom, and the bugs will return.

My lady charmer, Knox.

And then, it will be a struggle to get everyone outside to enjoy our beautiful backyard and enjoy time together as a family.
These days, time outside competes with time inside - so many channels of t.v. with so many shows on all the time.  Video games and computer games and, what seems like, much more homework than we ever had.  There's always an excuse to stay in rather than go out. And while the rest of us might be outside on a cool spring evening by the fire, Slim might be inside watching Penguins of Madagascar or something on Animal Planet or some random shark video he's found on YouTube.

I try to remind myself that I shouldn't force my children to do things that go against their personalities. When I was young, I was usually the one inside with my nose in a book or my face in front of the t.v.  And now, that is Slim.  My mom never forced me outside; I went out eventually to ride my bike or see what all the neighborhood kids were up to.

The times I have forced Slim outside have been a disaster.  His anxiety over bees and insects reaches it's frenzied peak, and he ends up picking fights with his brothers and me.  I have learned with him, as with all my boys, that when something is his idea, I just roll with it.  I make a conscious effort to enjoy the times we're all outside together even if we're all doing something different. 

When I look back at my own childhood, the memories that stand out are those of neighborhood baseball games in the empty lot across the street or of group sledding sessions or of roaming the neighborhood eating blackberries right off the bushes.  I often wonder what my boys will remember about their childhood and talk about when they're older.

Spring is here.  It's the perfect time to go outside and make some memories.

How do you plan to enjoy the beautiful spring weather?

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