I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time last fall right after I turned 36. My kids were 11, 9 and 4 seeing it for the first time. Photos just don’t do it justice. Also if any parents have gone and not had a few mini heart attacks in between the amazement and wonder, let me know because you are a special breed. There was a rickety fence for about ten feet and then a ledge just tall enough for kids to trip over and then nothing, and three crazy boys running around and asking if you can skydive into the Grand Canyon. But it was worth it, so worth it.

You can head over to Childhood Unplugged for this month’s batch of outdoor and unplugged moments from the other project contributors…

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photos of me taken by Jesse

 

It’s that time again. Another new month, another chance to take stock of how we are living the majority of our moments unplugged as a family. I could never begin to show you all the myriad and diverse ways that plays out, but here is this month’s glimpse. Less than an hour, Jeremiah dressed up as Max, riding his car and jumping on the trampoline, taking off the hot, sweaty suit and heading in for a cool bath. And Aaron and David taking turns with some mechanical contraption Aaron won at school. It’s the simple things, it really is. Make sure to head over to Childhood Unplugged for more inspiration from the project’s contributors. And follow along on Instagram where this DEFINE student project has turned into a worldwide movement.

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He makes shields out of paper plates. Captain America, Captain Ninja, Captain Dinosaur. Unplugged and running wild with his imagination. Check out more unplugged inspiration and images for June here.

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Motherhood was baking pies, and the books she would read. And the way I could melt into her chest warm with a hug. The way her shoulder smelled next to her hair, and the look in her eyes when I would come up for air.

And I thought I would never be a mother because I could not bake pies, I didn’t even want to. But I read them books like a lifeline. I doubt I am as soft or warm or that I smell as good, but I give them words on pages, floating through the air, and I turn the pictures for them to see just as she did. Now she and I pretend to argue and dance in the kitchen, all grown up we are.

She holds all of her children and I do not. Sometimes it feels it’s because she knows more of mothering than I do. But what of all the mothers that have never held a single child to call their own?

Each of us, we women, hold the seeds of life inside. We are gardens and we are wombs. We are a gathering round the table. We are more than cooks and chauffeurs, we are more than empty arms. We are a giving of life, each in our own way, made by our maker to be a sacred place in time and space that life flows through. In blood and pain, loss and disappointment, still we dig our hands deep into the earth and somehow beyond us and through us comes life. All we can ever do is be the shoulder that their heads lay against when the day is long, the words floating off pages, the nourishment and laughter over plates full, the warm place when night falls quiet.

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  • Sue - Such beautiful tender words and images.ReplyCancel

 

My kids don’t have everything, but what they do have is made of dirt and sunshine, the moon, stars, ocean breezes and moments wasted. Moments invested in something they can hold and feel and smell and taste. I know it’s not the typical childhood these days to not even own an iPad, but I like to think we are keeping something alive, we are continuing the childhood that has lived for centuries covered in mud and filled with imaginings. They occasionally gather round our desktop computer to learn how to make bracelets and knit hats, and they dig and bounce and climb for days. This year I joined a collaborative project of photographers and parents encouraging and documenting their kids as they spend time away from screens, getting their hands dirty. Here is my monthly snapshot of some unplugged moments and you can see more on Childhood Unplugged,

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