Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekends Away

As I write this I am looking out the sliding glass door in our living room and keep seeing the dogs run by, and Thing Two run by, hose in hand.  I have to laugh and feel bad for the dogs at the same time, there isn't really a whole lot of hiding places in our yard from Thing Two and a hose, thankfully we have a place they can hide not far from here.

My folks live about an hour outside of town up in the mountains on a river, the scenery is beautiful, but it is good for other reasons too. This place allows us to let the Things and dogs experience things they wouldn't have the chance to as easily here in town.  Generally the animals and the kids have the run of the back area of the house along with a river to explore and plenty of other amusements.  I am always amazed how long the Things can go without telling me they are bored when we are up there.  The dogs spend thier days playing in the river, running in the property and lazing under the deck out of the heat. Up there the dogs and kids seem to find things to do, imaginations to distract them, and adventures to have.

The space lets the dogs escape the kids a lot easier, and lets the kids do stuff I would never let them do here.  The most current example of kid freedom is Thing Twos sling shot obsession. I am not sure if it was Popi purchasing him a sling shot or the sling shot in Angry Birds, but Thing Two is obsessed. We have gotten him a few targets and remind him not to shoot people or animals and off he goes. I hear nothing but sling shot pings for hours some times.  Thing One has a crafting itch that can be a bit messy, but at my parents she can indulge throughly because my mom has a designated craft space. Thing One has free run of all the supplies and paints, and my mom is infinetly patient letting her go to it, and then helps her clean up.  Both these activities could be tough at our house, I would never feel comfortable with Thing Two playing with a sling shot in our yard and we don't have a ccraft specific area where Thing One can craft out of the way and uninterrupted. 

The best part about this little home away from home, besides it being really close, is the river and surrounding land.  The river is currently running a bit high, but the Things were able to go float this weekend. It is a short float, about an hour, but perfect for the Things.  They easily get bored as it is not a raft but a float and the hour gives them a chance to look at their surroundings and torture each other with splashing just enough.  The river when running slower also provides a great place for exploring.  Fish, muscles and frogs are frequent visitors to the plastic buckets we have around.  Usually by late summer the river is low enough that life jackets aren't really required when jsut exploring and the kids can walk all the way across without having to swim a stoke.  They also have the constant concern and companionship of my parents dog Liza, a large over protective Newfoundland dog.  Last summer on a little bank of sand near the house Thing One found what she called a butterfly wing grave yard. I have no idea what occured with these butterflies, but there were a ton of wings Thing One promptly scooped up a bunch and was crafting with them by nightfall.  Also a joy to Thing One is the high rushes in the watershed section of the poperty. The grass is so high Thing One can plunge in and be lost in it all. This freedom to explore relativly unincumbered by adults is what I totally appreciate about going up there.  I am as always a worried about them, but I know  exploring is an important part of growing up and the occationally injury of river dunk are as important as the classroom sometimes.

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