When we moved into our house, one of the things I was most excited about was having a backyard. A large, fully fenced backyard!
We had lived in one apartment after another. By the time we moved, we were completely over the apartment scene. The sharing walls, ceilings, and floors with neighbors. The small cramped spaces. The lack of outdoor space. We were ready to move on.
Of all the things that bothered me about living in apartments, not having a real place for the boys to play outdoors was the worse. Our last apartment did have a grassy place between the buildings with a small play area. But there was no fence between the grass and the busy parking lot. There was also an high traffic road that was fairly easy access. Not to mention all the people who lived at the apartment. There was no way I was going to let my boys play outside without me.
We did try to spend as much time as possible outside. But there was always things that needed to be done. Dinner, laundry, dishes, homework, etc.
So Bug and Monkey spent little time outside and absolutely no time unsupervised outside.
I spent nearly the entire trip from Utah to Iowa telling them how wonderful our house was, because it had a large backyard that they could play in.
The only problem...they didn't really.
I had thought they would take to the newly discovered outdoor space instantly. That they would relish their freedom.
But they didn't.
They preferred to stay inside with Hubster and me. We encouraged them to play outside, and were usually met with, "No thanks. I'm okay here."
It never occurred to me that playing unsupervised and independently might be a developed skill.
However, there seems to be nothing a long Iowan winter can't cure.
The last week has been blissfully warm and sunny. And every day I've come home to the boys running around the backyard, chasing after soccer balls, swinging baseball bats, and pushing each other on the tree swing.
Maybe they'll grow up to be normal after all.