I’m feeling a little sentimental today as I review some photos my family took on our recent fall walk through the park. Walking as a family has been something our family has always done and I’m so glad.
It is something that my husband have done as early as our dating years. We continued when we were first married and then daily once we got our first dog. It has always been a bonding time as a couple.
When Elijah was born, we’d take him for daily walks to get his day and night time schedule down, to improve his sleeping. I think it worked. When Elizabeth came along, we got the double stroller out. When toddler years came, they began to walk and we would then carry them half if not most of the way. As I reflect on our walks through the past 15 years with kids, it makes me smile.
Some of the smiles come from the silliness of walks with kids and dogs! Boy do the dogs love to pull! They love the outside air, new smells, and time exploring outdoors too!
Daily walks also provides much needed breaks from screens as well as exercise for all of us, including the dogs.
Don’t let cooler weather stop you – put on a sweatshirt this fall and bundle up this winter. Oh, the parks are gorgeous right after it snows!
I also smile because of the time we’ve spent exploring new places together – near and far. I recall the first time our toddler Elijah got out of the stroller and starting finding all sorts of salamanders crawling through the woods – I guess he was close enough to the ground to see more than we adults see from 5+ feet higher up!
Taking walks together has been a bonding experience over the years for us as a family. It’s a free family time activity that I really feel all families should take advantage of – no matter what age your kids are. It is a time to chat with one another – again, without distractions. Taking weekly or daily walks with your kids gives you a guaranteed time for reconnecting as a family – and building those relationships of trust. You can’t put a price-tag on that. Quality time is so important, especially as your kids get older.
Taking walks together also is just a fun way to explore nature and appreciate the beauty of all the parks we have in Summit County – there are a lot! My son has always had a good eye for photography and finding beauty in nature. Like the bark on this tree. He’s been studying trees this year – since the quarantine – and has found a true appreciation in the different varieties in Ohio. For instance, he just told me that the chestnut tree that we have in our yard is very rare – one of less than 100 in this part of the country. Who knew!?
Finding fun pictures like this is what slowing down in life gives you.
Another new hobby that my family has discovered this year – since the quarantine is mushroom hunting. Although you can’t mushroom hunt in our parks, it is fun to find and photograph. This is not an edible mushroom, to my limited knowledge but pretty cool looking.
Gosh, there is just so much beauty in nature like this delicate fern. Taking walks together as a family is really a time to slow down and be together. Getting off all of the screens, away from the distractions, away from the virus that looms over all of us, away from drama on social media, away from worries or concerns – just being together, it’s what I’m reflecting on today and loving this treasured time we’ve had all these years.
So, yeah, walking is good for exercise, improves concentration, good for unplugging, etc. but for me, it’s all about connecting as a family and making memories. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us, work may not slow down either – I know my husband and I have been slammed with jobs lately so finding time for family time has been a challenge – but we need to take that time. It’s worth it.
I’m thinking of a family right now that buried their child this morning after a tragic accident. I mourn for that family. What they wouldn’t give for another walk with their child, I can’t imagine…
So, this post is not just about making time for walks but just making time for your family – for your kids, for your parents, for your siblings, really, for everyone you love. Taking a walk in a park is one of the safest ways to visit and spend time with loved ones, even if this virus threatens to take away other norms in our life. Just, make time for family time.