Until JT was two and a half years old, we lived in a house with a screened in front porch located just across the street from a park. The boy loved that park and spent a lot of time on the porch, looking out the windows and calling to me, "outside, mama, outside?"
We were often to be found at the park. And when we moved to New Jersey, the first thing JT and I explored were neighborhood parks. Within a few weeks of arriving in New Jersey, I had identified a half dozen parks for our enjoyment. In New Jersey, we've found parks with trails, parks with climbing equipment, parks with swings, and parks with sandboxes. We love them all. Because I am the sort of mama who will stay at a park for hours at a time, over the years we've explored them completely. That's good, because my boy loves to play outside. At school, JT is most happy when he gets "outside recess." And if outside recess is combined with outdoor gym class, that's the JT money-shot.
For hours at a time, he also plays outside in our yard, running back and forth engaged in imaginary games. He keeps a cache of stick weaponry to facilitate these games. Bad guys are always vanquished at Sassafras House.
In the winter, JT continues to play outside whenever possible. Gym and recess are more often held indoors (because most children—not to mention their teachers --- don't find freezing temperatures enjoyable). And the weeks of early sunset make it difficult for him to get enough outdoor daylight playtime. And so it is that by this time of year JT is absolutely yearning to be outdoors. On a sunny day, he experiences the triumph of hope over good sense and heads outside, convinced that appearances are not deceiving.
These pictures were taken last Saturday morning, which looked lovely, though the bright sky was deceptive as it was only 30 degrees outside and there was a bit of a breeze. He lasted an hour, my outdoor boy, and then he came inside with cold cheeks and a bright smile. He was triumphantly optimistic as he explained to me, "Spring is coming, Mama, I can just tell."