I’m Sorry, but Thank You!

When Covid-19 shut our schools down suddenly, my heart went out to all the children. One day they were in school – and the next day they weren’t! For most children, school is not only a structure for academics, it is a stable environment for learning social skills and building peer relationships. It’s a comfortable routine and something to do! It’s understandable that during lock-down, kids were driving their parents crazy! They missed their friends and they yearned to be out of the house.

About a month into forced isolation, parents in our neighborhood realized the importance of socialization and independence for their children. A group of young boys started spending hours and hours playing together outdoors.

I live in the city, but in a naturally protected wooded area where trees are thick and creek beds lie in wait to be explored. Normally, the creek is easily accessible only in a few places. After months of intervention by these industrious boys, however, we now have an entire network of arteries that lead through the woods and down to the water!

We have ropes tied to trees so you can swing out into the water. We have deep, narrow holes along the creek bank to hold fishing poles. We have hills cleared of debris for sliding and rolling down, and we have remnants of often-used toys, shovels and buckets.

All summer long I wanted to survey this maze of new paths, but there was always an adventure builder or two occupying the area and staking claim to the result of their hard work.

Our schools re-opened several weeks ago. Some children have resumed in-class learning while others are on-line students, but they all have a routine during the week which no longer allows for outdoor play. I am finally able to search that special realm they created!

Now, when I take my daily walk I don’t stay on the paved paths. No! I duck into every little passageway I come across. I am amazed at all the channels they forged through the trees and brush during a time when they struggled for something to do. To them I’d like to say I’m sorry for the Covid-filled months of childhood interrupted, but thank you for combating your boredom by conceiving and shaping the little-boy world I now enjoy!

It’s Only Words #13


    1. I totally agree! The educational value of working together to create their own “space” cannot be duplicated. I’m sure they learned a thing or two about snakes and poison ivy, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Linda,

    Wonderful words. Isn’t it great just to have the time to actually see, smell and hear the beauty of nature around us. Today on our walk, we just stopped for awhile and admired all of the various hues of blue in our skies; as we walked past freshly cut grass and smelled new topsoil just placed to grow another lawn. Simple, but invigorating without any politics or noise involved!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think these boys were lucky. They probably gained much more by taking a few months off to explore the wild areas around them. They are also lucky to have been part of a community which seems to have had a low incidence of the epidemic, so that the children were not the vectors through which the disease spread from family to family. And they are lucky a third time that the epidemic is under sufficient control that the schools have reopened.

    We have not been so lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree they were lucky for many reasons! The number of cases here has been quite small, but still it was risky, even though they were outdoors. This experience taught them more than sitting at home playing video games! I’m sorry to hear things are difficult where you are. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

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