I'm currently reading this book...
...which argues that kids today are suffering from nature-deprivation disorder and parents have been frightened from letting their children roam free in wild places and climb trees.
My children, just for the record, do not suffer from this disorder. This is almost entirely thanks to their father, who takes them out camping and boating and hiking and biking and does his part to nature-surplus them all the time, even when I stay home to grade papers.
I do feel that Nora has gotten too much screen time lately and doesn't get enough outdoor time (and, honestly, when I take her to the park, she's climbing on plastic and rubber-coated metal surrounded by bark chips, so that hardly counts). So when Ken suggested on his day off yesterday that we drive the Nebo loop with Nora, I went along and we three had a lovely time. My daughter, for the record, may be a pink princess in some (annoying, say her brothers) ways, but it's comforting to know she can also run up a trail and play in the leaves and get nice and dirty just like my boys did at her age. Plus, as you can see, her outfit blends in so nicely with the foliage that it's clear that she's a born nature gal.
And just in case there was any doubt about our attachment to the great outdoors, we all went back and did the Nebo drive again last night with the boys for family night and took the same hike we had discovered in the morning--up to a hidden grotto. Thanks to outrageously bad traffic (what's with Southbound I-15 lately?!) by the time we got to the cave and waterfall, it was almost totally dark. But, thankfully, Nora had her Sleeping Beauty flashlight with her to save the day. Princess Power and Mother Nature. What a great combination.
And then this morning, Nature reared her ugly head, or more accurately, her ugly swollen, black, hourglass-tattooed belly, as I was getting into my car. This lovely lady (yes, it's a black widow and doesn't she look pregnant to you?) was hanging two feet away from my face as I opened the garage door.
Maybe I am a little frightened about letting my kids roam free in the wild. Now I'm even frightened about letting them roam free in the garage.