Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days of Mississippi Goodbyes: Owning a Patch of Green

Whew. This is a big one. 

I'm so going to miss having a YARD. 

I'm not really an outdoor person (much to my hiking husband's disappointment). When Ann Peyton was Graves's age and a bit younger, I seriously had to force myself to get outside with them. It wasn't even that I was busy and felt like I needed to be inside knocking out things on a to-do list like is sometimes the case now. It was just that I genuinely didn't like it. It was too hot, too cold (hahahaha...jokes on me, right kids?), too humid, too buggy. Always something, though. Peyton really hated it for the kids and he'd take them outside when he was home and drop the suggestion often that I try to make it more of a priority. 

Well, at some point, I started making myself do it and Y'ALL. I'm still not what I'd call "outdoorsy". At all. But I do have an appreciation for it. And I definitely have an appreciation for how it improves my kids' moods. 

I think it's really healthy for them to get outside most days and I know that it improves my disposition, too. If I'm really down and struggling with anxiety issues and such, Peyton always asks me how much time we've spent outside that week. And often, although I know it's not the only cause of what's going on in my brain, I know that the lack of fresh air is a contributing factor. 

We spent more time outside in our own yard this Summer than ever before and I loved it more than ever before. Probably because you appreciate something so much more when you're about to lose it. I really appreciated the blessing of having it. I loved our relaxing days and I'd let go and look at the words on a page of a good book and better still, the joy in my beautiful children's faces instead of at a clock or a screen and hours would pass. 

I know that we're actually really fortunate to be moving to a city that values green space so much. As far as urban living goes, I don't think you can really ask for a better park situation than NYC. I know that not every city is like that. Far from it.'s harder to get to the park than walk out your back door. I can't be cooking supper and folding laundry while the kids play. It can't really be a fifteen minute thing (although, who am I kidding? It rarely is here). 

Additionally, it's nice to OWN your green, ya know? Our yard, majority of the time, looks horrendous. It's pretty much a point of contention in our marriage. Peyton wants to make it look better and so do I. But he has so little time and I...well, I think I made it clear that it was basically a work of the Spirit that got me to the place I where I actually (sort of) enjoy sweating and sitting on pretty yet really hard iron yard furniture while my kids dig in the sandbox or splash in the kiddie pool. Pulling weeds is going to require more transforming work. Anyway, irregardless of the condition of the place, it's ours and I love that. 

Honestly, it may be a good thing for me to not be able to pop the kids and myself outside in the hours between naps and bedtime. I read something recently that convicted me a bit about our worship of a multitasking lifestyle and maybe there's something to be said for being more present with them in their play. And I think it may also be good for me to have to be more intentional about our schedule and not squeeze things in or do them as an afterthought. 

Like most everything, there's good and bad to it. One thing this series is helping me a lot with is acknowledging the hard (even the very hard), but finding the good (especially the very good). I think that's sort of largely what my blog has come to be about and truly, I hope that's what my LIFE is about. The inevitable sadness and excitement that comes with leaving a neglected but cherished backyard for a truly epic park system seems to be a great microcosm of that! 

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