“Buh-Bye” Season

Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


He’s barely been up for thirty minutes and already he beckons. Standing at the door, a shoe in one hand, and an enthusiastic wave with the other, “buh-bye,” he says, again and again, looking at me, expectantly, waiting for me to heed his call. The outdoors calls to him like no other force in his life except, perhaps, mama’s milk.

I look at my babe, then I look at our apartment. Mountains of dishes and laundry. Dusty bookshelves and crumbs on the floor. A bathtub that needs scrubbing and diapers that need folding. Toys and clutter everywhere.

Just as I’m sizing up all that needs to be done, his call interrupts my thoughts. “Buh-bye,” he says one more time and I know it is done. I turn my back on all the chores, get my shoes, and head outside. I follow him, trusting his wisdom, that it is better to get outside and enjoy the day than to stay in.

Being outside is, in the mind of my little guy, primary. What we do once we are there is secondary and to him, largely, unimportant. The destination isn’t important, but the journey is.

Sometimes we carry around a giant newspaper, training to be a paper-boy.

We make music with sticks on the fence.

We pick up wood chips, feel them in our hands and, occasionally, mouths.

Sometimes we ride swings and slides.

Smell flowers.

Walk with our wagon.

Ride in the Beco.

We have picnics.

We watch birds and touch trees.

And ride bikes, fast.

We do so very many things when we get out, but we don’t do the dishes or the laundry. And perhaps that’s part of his goal. Getting out with him takes me from all the pressures of our home, all the to-do lists waiting to get done. It forces me to step back, let go, enjoy the fresh air and his company.

I struggle with that all, really I do. But I’m learning, he’s teaching me. I’m trying to come to peace with the fact that the dishes and laundry, well, I suppose they’ll get done this winter. This season is the season for “buh-bye,” it’s for playing outside.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants: