Sunday, 21 August 2016

Childhood Freedom - #ShareYourOutdoors

When I think back to my childhood, I immediately think of freedom.

Of long summer holidays spent riding my bicycle around our village, collecting shells on the shore and ghost hunting in the woods, making daisy chains and catching sugar spiders to keep in nescafe jars...and, one of my favourite and probably the oddest activity of all, searching around our street for the elastic bands that the postman had dropped on his rounds and collecting them all like some kind of exquisite treasure.

I was brought up in the 80s, in the days before tablets and mobile phones, before minecraft and pokemon go...and, most importantly, before the fear had set quite so much into the minds of parents as it has now.

Of course my mother would always warn me not to go too far on my bike, to be home by a certain time, never to talk to strangers...but still I was allowed to ride my bike alone, I was allowed to walk down to the next street over to call for my friend, I was allowed a certain amount of freedom.

I can't quite imagine allowing my children to have that same freedom now - it's just not the world we live in anymore, and it saddens me sometimes to think that they won't ever experience that.

And so, perhaps because that concern is present in my mind, I like to take the children on adventures every now and places where they can roam a little more freely, always in our watch of course...but to places that perhaps we don't need to always hold their hands every moment, where they can run ahead a little without being called back. Where they can just be a little freer.

We're lucky living in Devon that there are a lot of places on our doorstep which, out of tourist season, are quiet and unspoiled...where the children can experience nature, ask their many questions, run freely, feel the sand between their toes, run their fingers through the grass, climb trees, smell the flowers, splash in the sea and taste that certain carefree freedom that only comes with youth.

I hope that when they look back on their childhood days, that these memories will matter...that they won't only remember the computer games but the times they went Gruffalo hunting in the woods, the time they built a treehouse and the time they collected buckets full of seashells and wrote their names in the sand.

I can't give them the childhood that I had, but I can make the most of the one that they have.

The Aspinall Foundation are asking bloggers to #ShareYourOutdoors for a chance to win some amazing prizes including an overnight stay at Pinewood Shepherds Hut including dinner and breakfast... I nominate Laura from First Two Then Blue to join in and share her outdoors

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