I suspect a lot of 2 year-olds like being outside, and Jules is no exception. Even if it's cold--and I tell her it's too cold--she isn't persuaded to stay inside. "We'll put our coats on!" she reasons. It's good logic.
Except that two things stand in her way. First of all, unfortunately for Jules, she has a mom who hates being cold. In my opinion, cold weather is Mother Nature's way of telling me to stay inside. Read a book. Do some laundry. Make plans for when the weather goes above 70 degrees. Secondly, while the first reason doesn't seem relevant to Jules, I'm not quite comfortable with her wandering around 7 unfenced acres by herself. Especially when there's a creek. And steep hillsides. And a street that's not all that far away. I know. I'm such a predictable mom like that.
Jules doesn't subscribe to that kind of logic. Who cares if it's raining? Who cares if it's cold? Who cares if an adult is with me? That's what coats and hats and dogs are for. As far as she's concerned, every day is a good day to go down to the creek and watch the dogs fetch sticks.
And every day is a good day to get hands in the dirt. When we go outside, she has to put her hands in every puddle. She's got to pick up the dirt, throw the dirt, wiggle her toes in the sand (as long as there are no bugs--she hates bugs). While I enjoy being outside as much as the next person, I admit to being a bit of a...of a um...a uh...well, some might say I'm something of a priss when it comes to getting dirty. In other words, Jules and I disagree on how much dirt is acceptable to carry around on our skin.
Fortunately for her, my dad--Grandpa Steve--enjoys being outside a lot. Well, maybe he doesn't always enjoy it, but he has to be out there anyway. Somebody has to take care of the farm. And if he's out there in the Mule, well, Jules might as well be with him too. Because really, being outside is good for kids and grandpas alike.
She doesn't mind sitting in the Mule, marveling appropriately at whatever Grandpa is showing her. Frogs, a rock in the mud, skunk cabbage. It's all very interesting.
And I'm learning to pick up little outdoor lessons from her. Sure it may be cold and it may be drizzly, but we can get our boots and coats and hats, and we can go outside, even if I'd rather stay inside.
Because one of these days she'll be old enough to go outside all by herself, and she won't want me to come along.
I better keep up with her while I can.