Part of deciding what you want to give your children and how you want to raise them is through reviewing what you remember and cherish from your childhood.
My best childhood memories are of when we lived in upstate New York (until I was 5 years old). We had a garden in our backyard with stepping stones and a creek further behind that. I use to catch frogs (to save them from the lawn mower), avoid snakes, pick baby carrots, turn over huge rocks and examine bugs, dig for worms to feed my frog, climb trees, and play all sorts of games like tag and man hunt outdoors. I watched my grandmother pick grape leaves that she used to make yabra’. I’d walk around and collect sticks and pretend to make camp fires, collect dead grass and make birds nests, and collect fall leaves and use them for art projects. I did all kinds of things. I loved being outside.
As I got older, even if it was just the community pool, not the most “natural” setting, it was outdoors and still tons of fun. I enjoyed swimming with my siblings and making friends with the regulars. We’d throw an object in the pool, then dive and race to retrieve it, we played marco-polo, showed off fancy tricks (spinning and flipping forwards and backwards), we would have contests of who could hold their breath the longest or swim the fastest. There was never a dull moment or a complaint that we were bored, even though we went almost every day each summer, for hours. We’d occasionally go to the beach or a lake and have fun with the sand, waves, seaweed, etc. When I look back on my childhood those are the things I love and remember, the memories I cherish.
Another HUGE part of my childhood was my love of animals. Any and all animals. I could not get enough of them. I watched chicks, who’s eggs I housed in an incubator, hatch over a several hour period. I was afraid to miss a single moment in the long, slow process that I found more fascinating than TV. I would try and sometimes succeeded in saving some wounded birds and bunnies, even into my teen years. I had an assortment of pets (canaries, parakeets, water frog, fish, a hamster and a lop eared bunny). I wanted a cat since I could talk, but my mom was allergic, unfortunately. I did have a few in Syria, in the summers, and babysat a few for friends which made me ecstatic. I loved zoos, especially petting zoos. Horseback riding became a favorite thing to do, which I occasionally indulged in (once a year).
What memories do you have that you cherish? Do they involve nature/the outdoors?