There are birds in every tree, and not just magpies and introduced pest birds, but galahs! Cockatoos! Red Rumps and Rosellas! Our small backyard is abundant in frogs and lizards and insects. Butterfly saw her first witchety grubs! We found about 10 under a log.
I was in the backyard with Butterfly the other day and she went to stick her hand in the mud. I stopped her. Then I thought to myself "when did I become THAT mother?" and apologised to her and let her go for it!
So she got a little dirty. She felt the earth between her fingers, delighted in its texture and giggled at her covered hands. THIS is why we moved here! I vowed to relax and go with the flow.
So yesterday we were checking our "frog log" but there were none to see... but I spied a small slug and showed it to Butterfly. "Pat 'im?" she asked. GROSS! I didn't really want to touch it, or have her get slimy, but I let go. "Sure honey" I said and she gently stroked him. "Simy Mummy! Mummy Pat 'im!" So I did. I don't want her to be grossed out by the world around her, and I knew she'd be watching for my reaction too. Sure he was slimy, but harmless!
Be aware that your children will mirror your reactions to the world. Sure spiders are disgusting but if you scream and run and lock yourself in a room should one turn up on your wall, you are setting your kids up to be fearful. I do realise children need a healthy respect for creatures that can bite and sting, but do you really want your children inheriting your irrational fears?
Butterfly is LOVING our new life here. She can get up close to nature, pat new creatures (her favourite thing in the world! Frogs definitely regret being discovered by us! She is gentle but relentless) and get dirty. The larger properties around mean that we can walk 5 minutes in one direction and feed some sheep (they LOVE oats and birdseed!) or go for a long walk alongside farmland and feed the horses (if they are in the mood). I love that Butterfly is fearless when it comes to animals, and is always willing to get up close. She got bitten by the sheep twice the other day, she hasn't quite grasped the concept of holding out a flat palm, and it made her cry. BUT she got right back in there a few minutes later. Bless her!
The house we are looking to buy is over an acre, hardly a farm but large enough for us to reconnect with outdoor living! It backs onto council land and so we will never be built in. It has a dam where we can all get good and muddy! We will grow vegetables and fruit trees, plant native vegetation to encourage wildlife in. I'll set up a mud kitchen for Butterfly, and would LOVE to try a living sunflower cubby house! It will be awesome to have my home birth in such beautiful surroundings, with plenty of great spots for planting placenta!
The future is very exciting, but until we can move forward I have to make the most of what we have. Butterfly and I will continue to explore the yard we have and all the creatures within it!
When was the last time you spent a whole day in your garden? Walked barefoot on the earth? Got dirty? Lay in the sun and gazed at the sky? You might find it very therapeutic, and your children will love it!
Remember: mud washes off!