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Before we begin, I want to say that before we were a family of three, our family of two enjoyed going and ‘playing’. What we consider playing doesn’t involve huge amounts of money, unless you count gas to get there. Our ‘playing’ is (usually) free to come by and it’s not seasonal. This form of ‘playing’ occurs outdoors or in some other natural/nature-type setting. We would just decide, “hey let’s go play somewhere” and off we’d go. Of course, mostly this occurred on the weekends, as with many families no matter their size. We would always have a BLAST! Not once have we ever been done with a ‘playing adventure’ and wished we’d done something else, nor have we regretted the amount of money, or even time, with which we’d lost while ‘playing’. More often than not, we’d walk away saying “let’s come back some time” or “I wish we could do that more” or “I don’t want to go”. Our form of ‘playing’ also didn’t necessarily mean that we went on miles-long hikes, though sometimes we did. Sometimes it was as simple as barely getting wet in a river or stream somewhere. Sometimes it was just being around open space and trees, for we can identify anything as a “forest” if we so choose.
Along began our family of three (pregnancy) and much of this stopped, for the mere difficulty of movement and/or added increase energy expelled to have a ‘playing’ adventure. Through all this, I often wistfully thought of just going off and doing something. We tried it once and it was enjoyable, but quite difficult for me on the return to our vehicle (uphill). Since the birth of our son, we have been getting into these activities again. Still it feels the same, “I wish we could stay” type comments. Personally, it may even feel better because now we can also witness our son looking around in wonderment and awe at the trees, oh the tall tall trees, the leaves, the rocks, the sounds, all the many things in the great outdoors.