March 19, 2012

Outside! I Said Outside!

These days, Willa is asking, basically from the moment she wakes up, to go outside.

OK, so it really sounds like she's screaming "Die-ee!" "Die-ee!" "Die-ee!" over and over again, but I quickly translate that to "Outside!" (I'm hoping, at least, that it needs translation and she's not actually turning into a teenager already telling me to die. I don't think I'm doing that bad of a job.)

Anyway, I love her even more for this, because:

a) It means she has more than a healthy dose of her father in her;
b) It gets me out of the house too, which, if you work from home, sometimes seems impossible unless there's a toddler screaming at you to do so and;
c) It means she'll be OK in this farm life... maybe.

When we took this leap into farming, I'll admit, somewhere, deep down, I probably did it because I wanted to reclaim a childhood, both for myself and for my kids.

I spent a lot of time outside as a kid on the farm and I think that -- the wind, the sun, the dirt, all of it -- formed me in some pretty elemental ways. I wanted my kids to know that connection and farming was a way to create that. (There are of course, lots of other ways to make that connection.)

Willa has been an outdoorsy gal, by necessity, since birth, and she's seemed OK with it. (See photo below.) But, I have worried a time or two about thrusting this life on her. I mean, I think it's good for her to have this connection to food and land and the environment, but you never really know, you know? Maybe she'll be an indoorsy kind of gal who doesn't like dirt or animals. Then what? Then I'm just the dirty Mom who does gross things all day long. It could happen.

So as I watch her little personality developing, and her independence growing, I'm heartened to see her craving the outside all on her own.

The other day in the greenhouse, while Jacob planted (and confession: while I read a mystery novel), I saw Willa waving her hands out of the corner of my eye. She was covered in potting soil, a large clump of it tumbling out of her mouth as she ran to me, arms outstretched and her tongue, black with the stuff, plunging out of her mouth.

I think maybe she's a natural after all.

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