When the Sun Goes Down

When I was a little girl I lived on a large farm in Southern Minnesota.

We were in the middle of nowhere, still are I suspect.  We had more room to roam than we knew what to do with.

We started each day shortly after the rooster’s crowed.  Ok, we didn’t REALLY have roosters.  But it sounds so good, doesn’t it?

If it was a farming day for dad or mom’s day off, we spent the entire day outside on our farm.  We chased feral cats and kittens around the hay loft in the barn.  We played school in the corn crib.  We played bank with Monopoly money through the hole in the screen door.  We played family with our Cabbage Patch babies.  We danced and sang on the hay trailer.  We were archeologists exploring the fields for dinosaur bones.  We rode off into the sunset on the propane tank pony.

Everyday was an adventure waiting to happen.  The world was our oyster and we didn’t intend on wasting a single moment of it.

One glorious spring my dad ordered new top soil for the fields.  It was delivered in a giant mound that was placed at the corner of the field.  The corner that happened to be framed on one side by our driveway.

Picture it…  King of the hill in the summer!  It was so much more exciting than doing it in the freezing cold wind and snow!

We climbed to the top.  We wrestled each other to be king.  Then we slid down the mountain to start it all over again.

At first mom was furious with us.  The giant dirt mound was all red clay.  And, we insisted on climbing the mountain in our white stocking feet because shoes seemed to slow us down.  We were stained red from head to toe on a daily basis.  I’m sure she felt like killing us but eventually let it go.  No threat she offered seemed to keep us from our love of dirt.  In fact that only thing that did end it was when the dirt was evenly distributed throughout the fields.  Pretty hard to climb a mound then.  And, really, it’s no fun to explore the field when there’s nothing growing in it.

As a child there was rarely a day when we weren’t outside for 98% of our waking hours.  Even when it rained we begged to be out unless it was storming.  And, we did have enough shelter on the farm that there wasn’t much harm in being out in the rain.

I remember my mom calling us in for dinner every night.  We’d quickly eat and head back out if we could.  When she called us back in for the night we were devastated.  There was still so much left of the sun in the sky.  How could we *not* take advantage of those daylight hours?!?!

We slowly shuffle up to the house and head in for the night.  Each night hoping and praying that morning would come quickly so that we could start it all over again.

Tonight I officially became that mom.  The mom that threatens her children within an inch of their lives to come in the house.

Today Ohio officially hit the 70 degree mark on the mercury.  Keegan snuck outside without a jacket for much of the morning.  After school the boys were both outside until shortly before dinner.  They played a little Wii while dinner was being cooked.  They ate and then back out the door they ran.

Shortly before bedtime I hollered out the back door for them to come in.

Just a few more minutes mom!

C’mon!!  The sun’s not even down yet!!

I heard my own words from so many years ago echoing in my head.  It took all of my strength as a parent to make them come back inside.

The first nice days of spring always take me back to my childhood and the good times had there.

What does spring’s arrival do for you?


About Brotherly Love

I am a mom, partner, teacher and a lover of life. I have two fabulous boys who define my life as I know it. One of my children has been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, Asperger's and anxiety disorder. I blog as much about him as I do about my life and the lives of my immediate family.
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4 Responses to When the Sun Goes Down

  1. Kate says:

    We’re spending spring break outside. All day. Everyday. It is gorgeous weather here and the smells that surround me are all of my childhood. The wisteria is in bloom. So is the bubble gum plant (I don’t know it’s real name, but that’s what I’ve called it forever.) We sit and swing and eat and swing and run and read outside. All day.

  2. Elastamom says:

    We were outside all day yesterday too and it was wonderful!!! I just hope it’s here to stay. 🙂

  3. I think a lot of kids back then spent most of their hours outside in the spring and summer. I remember playing kick-the-can until sunset.

  4. Patty says:

    We had a blast outside the last two days. My youngest son, especially, enjoyed it. The kid would be outside all day and night if I let him.

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