What many may not know about me is that I spent the first 5 years of my life growing up on a farm in Claiborne County. I was quite content spending my days playing outside, picking green beans, swimming naked, and playing with my dogs while being raised by my hippy parents. The picture above was my first home, and a place I visit very little within the past 15 years. It’s a place my kids really don’t like, or haven’t really cared to visit until about now.
Yesterday, my parents and their long-time friends who are also part farm-owners came in from all over to relax, reminisce and recount old farm stories.
And, we went up for the day. My kids didn’t complain about it, which is an improvement for Anna, but they weren’t exactly excited about it either. My city kids were so worried about getting ticks that we all slathered down with a strong lemony deet-free spray before leaving. Brody insisted, against our advice, that he wear long, black pants and a long-sleeved black shirt to be on the safe-side! (we did take a change of clothes that he changed into when he realized how hot black feels in 85 degree Tennessee heat!). Brody was complacent because we let him take his air-soft gun. And promise Anna some food, and she’s usually sold.
We had only planned on going up for a couple hours, but we ended up spending the whole day there. The dogs were in heaven, leash-free with lots of attention and freedom. Brody got to share and impress some boys while shooting at cans and bottles. And most surprisingly, Anna had a blast!
There are wild black raspberry bushes all over the property now. And the raspberries, along with some of blueberries, were just beginning to ripen. Anna picked and ate, and picked more and ate more! She loved it. She never once asked to leave, didn’t complain at all, and even stated while going to pee in the field,
“This is actually a really fun party.”
Who would have guessed my little, girly-girl who used to pitch a fit when I ever suggested taking her somewhere outside was actually having fun!? Bo used to tease me when I attempted another failed family hiking experience. Anna always whined, had to carried, and hated outdoor experiences. It always bummed me out because I envisioned fun, family outdoor ‘adventures’ that usually failed because one or both kids were so miserable! But, she has changed so much recently. She isn’t always glued to my side and she even ventures out own her own some. Most surprisingly, she not only tolerates the outdoors but actually seems to have fun!
I love that people can and do change. But you can’t stop trying and exposing them. I would have never guessed even a couple months ago that Anna would go camping for two nights and actually enjoy it, choose to go on walks, and even just like running around outside. I love her newfound confidence and willingness to be outside and try new things. She continues to surprise and impress me because it wasn’t that long ago that the girl hated even walking. She used to SO lazy and hate doing anything that required effort. She’s changed.
I think it’s easy to think you’re not going to like something because you didn’t last time. We have expectations based on past experiences, adults and children. But, if we don’t keep trying, we may not realize that we’ve changed and what we didn’t like before, we might now enjoy or at least appreciate. I love that. I love my kids for keeping me surprised and guessing. It’s fun and exciting to watch them grow and change. Never stop growing and changing people.