I love you

Today we visited “Gum Grove” in Seal Beach. A sweet treasure trove of nature tucked away near a residential neighborhood. I would never have found this place on my own; it’s a hidden treasure that was shared with me. Again…..a glorious Tuesday. Oh how I love Tuesdays! Days spent out in nature. Kids playing. Kids delighting in creation. Observations being made. All the discoveries made today…..the difference between young and old eucalyptus tree leaves, a dead lizard, snake skin, the seeds of eucalyptus, bark peelings. Loved it that Noah was able to make use of his swiss army knife to cut off a piece of the broken rope and that James was able to tie four knots that would hold the weight of each kid for each of their turns for the hours they played. And those two 9-year old boys did it all on their own without any guidance or support from the moms. Love that! A ton of cheers, smiles, fun screams and Tarzan shouts as they played over and over and over again on that rope swing. Some of them built a fort out of branches and leaves. Others ran up and down and around on the banked curves of the trail. Mamas sat on spread out picnic blankets. Some kids painted in their field journals. We talked some politics. Then went on another hike. My heart pounding as Jacob and Natalie carefully walked on a waist-high wall that was just wide enough for them to walk one foot in front of the other. But this is the group that they will learn to be kids and have good balance and climb in trees. This is the group where I will learn to let go of my hovering ‘no, no, no that’s not safe’ mothering. Let them live a bit more adventurous instead of safe under my wings. And they were just fine. Just as all the kids were. No need to instill my fear in them. They are cautious enough and that’s what I need to rest secure in. We all had a grand time. Looking at flowers and different types of tress- identifying species. My heart is happy. I just want to sit and paint in my field journal. But more special than even all of this is the number of times both Jacob and Natalie sweetly said aloud “I love you Mama” at different points throughout the day while we were on our adventure. They were frolicking with their friends and then one of them would skip by me and sweetly say “Mama, I love you!” Each of them more than once. Several times. Different times. Unsolicited. Their hearts must have been happy too.

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