The first time my eldest saw trees was in a park in Milan when she was five months old. She’d seen plenty of palm trees before, dates mostly, because she was born in the Middle East and where we were that was as good as it got but I’m talking about proper, leafy trees with branches that loom over you and sway with the wind. She was absolutely transfixed. I don’t remember much else about that park, it wasn’t anything particularly special (apart from that it was in MIlan, which counts for something, of course, because, you know, Italy) but those trees will always stay with me because of the effect they had on my girl.
We’ve been to many parks since, of course, and I’m pleased to say that all of our kids have an appreciation for trees. Nowadays, the girls want to climb them, swing from them and pick things off them more than they want to gaze at them, but the wee lad spends a good amount of time watching the trees. Soon enough he’ll be climbing, swinging and picking too, no doubt, but I love the way that babies and children are drawn to the natural world and become so fascinated by aspects of it. Honestly, as much as my lot all enjoy playgrounds and forts in the parks that we visit, they’re just as happy taking a wander through the gardens and trees, finding hidey holes, examining natural treasures and looking for creatures. And it might be easier to pull up at the playground and push them on the swing for ten minutes, but exploring beyond the playground is better for all of us.
Might have to go for an adventure somewhere this weekend.