I wrote another thousand words last night while the family ate dinner. And some after the kids went to bed. Last night, I slept terribly so I couldn’t force myself up at 5:30 to do more writing. But my husband was off today, so he handled the baby while I knocked out 2,000 more words.
I’d love to get another 1,100 done by the time I go to bed, but I’m already burning out, and it’s only been three days. Crossing that 10,000 word mark might give me a boost of energy, though.
Right now I’m reading Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. It’s kind of dull, but the information is compelling. It’s about how instead of playing out in open fields, our kids spend hours in front of the computer/TV, in organized sports, in piano lessons or other enrichment activities, or doing homework. Some of Louv’s theories are really interesting. He claims that kids in organized sports end up doing less exercise than kids allowed to simply roam in nature. (I have no personal knowledge of this because my kids aren’t currently involved in organized sports.) It links nature-deprivation to children’s inability to concentrate and keep their behavior in check. It claims that playground equipment, which is built in such a fashion to reduce liability, greatly limits kids’ range of motion. There’s also a sizable section on nature as therapy for ADHD.
I’m beginning to better appreciate our suburban neighborhood. Our house backs up to woods. It’s bordered on one side by a stream. In front, across the street, is a small pond. When you look out any window of my house, you see mature trees, wild growth, or water. And though I’ve never considered myself much of an outdoors person, I do know that when I sit at my kitchen table, or in the office, or living room, and I can see the mature trees framing the windows, the bluejays and cardinals racing between tree trunks, the deer crossing carefully in front of our street, I feel a sense of calm come over me. When the kids were younger and not in school all day, I had the time to drive somewhere to get to nature. But now that our time during the week (outside of school) is so short, I’m glad we have some of it right here, surrounding us, where we can step into it any time of day, for hours at a time.
I used to think I would be very happy living in an urban environment. Now, I’m not so sure.