Fresh air made my children kind to each other.
Yesterday we went for a small walk in the woods together. This was yesterday's installment of the 12 Days of Christmas; for each of the 12 days between December 25th and January 6th, we are doing some kind of fun or family thing. One day we made snow globes, one day we watched It's A Wonderful Life together...yesterday's activity was Go For A Walk Somewhere Beautiful.
We went to the Little Farm in Tilden Park, and then walked up above the farm. There are trails up there that are great for young kids. So we walked a short distance, until we found a nice open area great for exploring and drinking the hot chocolate I had lugged up the hill in two thermoses. And lo and behold, my kids climbed together, helped each other up steep embankments, played hide and seek without erupting into fights, shared hot chocolate, and held hands down the hill. If I could live up there, I would. They were amazing...
It really was a great little break for everyone. We walked through the woods, which I had imagined as a peaceful time, forgetting that my kids would be with me. They chattered about everything they saw, delighted in the echoes they could make with their voices, and generally were as loud as they usually are. But out there in the open, noise dissipates quite a lot and is actually not that unpleasant to the ear. Look at this picture of Vincenzo and Elizabeth, two kids who are usually about as excited to see each other as I am to face my laundry pile:
Today is Rick's birthday, so our 12 Days of Christmas activity will be having a party for him. And I have a new goal for 2008: Find a way to bottle fresh air and give my kids regular infusions of it. Or, I guess we could go for more walks.