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  • Saskia Vanderhoop

Time to Get Out!

Dear Families and Friends,

Spring time, my grandmother used to sing songs to us in Frysian about her most beloved time of year, the "maitiid'. I recall wandering and picking flowers in the fields that stretched as far as my imagination. Looking for lapwings nests, in the hope that we would be the first ones to find an egg. Endless days of playing with just about anything we found outside. How fortunate i was, to grow up always outside, just cuz that's what everyone did. Even after dinner, the light dwindling, we'd beg my parent to go back outside. My dad would say "well okay, but make sure you find that first egg, so we all get to visit the queen" (this was really true in the netherlands).

My children often ask me to tell stories about my childhood, and only now do I realize that i grew up in a time that was filled with magic. No wonder i go outside first thing every morning, to sit with the birds, the day just isn't the same without it. It makes me so sad to think that many kids miss out on all that fun, beauty, creative play, and natural learning that slowly but surely turns into wisdom.

Now let me ask you, who is in charge of the children and responsible for their well being? I think we all agree that it's us, our generation, the parents and grandparents. Then why is it, that we let them down, have young kids become addicted to screens and teens on so much social media causing depression rates to skyrocket? What are we so afraid of? Can we go against main stream, and be responsible for a better future?

After the 'dead of winter', springtime comes, full of promise, beauty, and new growth, as a natural invitation of life. Let's follow suit with nature and go outside at every opportunity we have. Take the children in your life outside, or send 'm out, like people did before us. Let them play, explore, get dirty, and perhaps even in a little trouble! Just recall your most unforgettable times growing up, surely they didn't happen behind a screen.

Please help make this world a better place and get out!

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