• Indians in the Woods

    My kids will never get to make those memories. Of course I can show them how to paint their faces with mud and sing the silly songs we invented in the woods. I can teach them how to climb trees and line up pebbles in the stream to build a dam. I can teach them how to build forts and make amazing flags from fabric scraps and old towels to wave over their forts.  Thanks to our hiking adventures, my son already knows the importance of a good “walking stick” and searches for one each time we walk around the block (which is paved).  I’m ridiculously proud of that.

    But I can’t teach my kids about the fierce bond we forged in those woods as we crunched through leaves, helped each other to climb the trees, and worked together to camouflage ourselves from the imaginary cowboys who would be searching for us.  It was a sort of magical world we created that I can’t be a part of now that I’m an adult. We never let our mother be a part of it.

    I’ll never feel comfortable letting my children run miles away from home into the woods. The world isn’t the same place that it was then or maybe I’m just not as brave as my mother must have been. They’ll have to be satisfied with camping, hiking, and playing in the back yard while I keep a watchful eye from the window. Hopefully, they can find a way to carve their own world out of that space.

    Maybe they won’t be Indians in the woods with face paint and walking sticks, but I hope they still get to have the magic we had then. I know it’s not as great as acres of untouched, unexplored woods… but I hope they still find magic in it in what they have.

    Written by: Sara Parise

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