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The Outsider

by verdemama on June 15, 2010

Orion is an outdoor kid. Which I LOVE, considering so many modern kids never see the light of day, opting instead to bask in the artificial glow of a television or computer screen.

First thing every morning, after he nurses, Orion grabs my hand and leads me to either the front or back door. I then say something like, “No. I haven’t had my coffee yet.”

“We need to eat breakfast first.”

“I’m still wearing my pajamas.”

And so on. It’s the little dance we do each and every new day. So we eat breakfast. I change his clothes and my clothes. And if I’m lucky and he’s in a patient mood (which isn’t very often, come to think of it), he’ll let me go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. We then venture out, usually making a pit stop for a few moments to play in the car, then we head out to the park or some other green area in our neighborhood.

I love that he loves to be outside. I did, too, as a kid in rural Ohio, but somewhere along the way, after almost a decade of life in LA and jobs that required me to park myself in front of a computer for the majority of my waking hours, I had forgotten the joys of being out in the great outdoors. I had forgotten how sucking up nature (albeit our citified version of nature) refills all those little holes and fissures in my soul. Orion reminded me. I also dig that his love of being outside has challenged me to seek out all the wild little nooks in my area. Luckily my neighborhood has some pretty great parks and even a couple public gardens, and, of course, there’s the ocean, which is only a couple of miles away.

(And if you’re in the LA area and looking for some local green spaces, check out my friend’s new blog In the Landscape.)

I hope that as he gets older and is tempted by video games and televised sports and the lure of the Internets, he remains a free-range kid. It’s tough when we’re tucked in between so many strip malls, freeways and skyscrapers, but we know there are still sea-salty breezes and tangled roots and kaleidoscopic blooms outside our door. And that is exactly where you’ll find us.

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