Thursday, March 11, 2010

Men who love nature are SEXY!

Ok, I couldn't figure out how to title this post. I mean this is a family website, right.

As I was waiting for a friend to arrive for lunch today I was brainstorming on ideas for blog posts and I started making notes around the idea that "men who love nature are sexy". I must admit I've always felt this way. So, I started a list that I plan to hang on to. At some point (after I recover from my divorce) I know I'll be looking for a good man to spend time with...a nature loving man.

So, what makes a nature loving man sexy? I'm going to start my list, but I'll need your input so feel free to post comments with additional criteria.

A sexy nature loving man...

---knows how to put up a tent quickly and efficiently (especially when it's raining)
---looks amazingly handsome with a few days of stubble growing on his face
---doesn't complain about "all the bugs"
---drinks plain water...real water...not the flavored foo foo kind
---doesn't iron his jeans...ever
---affectionately calls me his "nature girl"
---knows what a dutch oven is and how to use it
---can point out and name various species of trees, birds, wildflowers, etc.
---cares about where his food comes from, how it was grown, etc.
---has a vehicle equipped for the backroads and doesn't worry about it getting dirty
---enjoys reading books by outdoor adventurers
---can easily name at least 5 National Parks because he's been there, done that
---assures me I look great in a bandana
---owns a pocket knife
---is drawn to me even when I haven't showered all weekend (can you say "pheromones")
---can roast the perfect marshmallow because he's patient
---wakes up early to start the fire and make coffee
---doesn't complain about sleeping in a tent or that his back hurts
---loves to spoon in a 2 person sleeping bag
---goes with the flow and knows how to kick back and relax
---doesn't worry about not having a signal for his phone
---picks up trash, even when it's not his
---has an uncanny sense of direction
---practices "outdoor etiquette" naturally and automatically
---owns a pair of binoculars...and he didn't buy them for sporting events

Ok, there are over 25...what can you add to my list? I know this is just the tip of the iceberg...

Muscle memory of the mind...

I was having a discussion with my friend Erin the other day. She's pregnant with her second child (they'll be 18 months apart) and she was commenting on how much bigger she looked this time around. She said her doctor told her that just like "muscle memory" her body has "pregnancy memory". Since the muscles have already been stretched they quickly and easily expand for baby number 2.

Of course this is funny because when we're pregnant with our first child we can't wait to wear maternity announce to the world "I'm pregnant". We buy maternity clothes before we need them and by the end of the pregnancy we never want to see them again...only to realize we may still need them for a few months until we shed some of the baby weight. I was never one of those fortunate women who gave birth and then walked out of the hospital in her old jeans. Actually, I secretly resent those women.

This whole discussion made me think about my mission to get back in touch with nature and bring my children along for the ride. When I close my eyes and relive my favorite memories from my childhood I'm immediately transported to the forests of Colorado. I can still smell the evergreens, hear the rushing water and feel the cool mountain breeze. I grew up in Kansas so Colorado was a natural choice for family vacations. My parents were both huge outdoor enthusiasts so they naturally exposed me and my siblings to things they were most passionate about.

My father spent hours teaching us how to fish (patiently untangling our lines) while my mother took us for walks to admire the wildflowers and photograph mushrooms and waterfalls. At night we'd sit around the campfire making s'mores and burning the end of a stick till it was bright red. I've always loved campfires. They're beautiful, warm, dangerous yet charming. Oh yeah...Dad also taught us how to whittle.

I could go on forever about all the fantastic memories I have but I'll spare you. My point is this: if our memories of our own childhood are still so powerful today then as parents we need to realize that everything we're doing with our children right now will be ingrained in their memories for years to come. We have the power to shape those memories and influence the rest of their lives. We are their parents, their mentors, their teachers. It's our job to provide playful activities and everyday adventures that help stimulate their imagination. As a result, these adventures will develop our children physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively and intellectually. This is an incredible responsibility yes...but it'll be the most fulfilling thing you ever do. Now get out there and start making some memories by having fun with your kids today!