Author: 

Chris Caretto

Date: 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
I have a friend, Hugh by name, who writes regularly about birds. He ended one of his recent articles about the loss of bird habitat with the following: "In our rapidly changing world, let's hope there is a place for the quiet and the subtle."  These days, I find myself needing more of the same. Our adult work lives are hectic. Children's days are filled with schoolwork, after school commitments and activities, and family obligations. I know I am not alone in struggling to keep up with everything that needs attention and time. I find myself in conflict with the hectic pace and wish to slow down my brain even more than my body. I would suggest parent and child get back to basics more often. The following is my list of the direction I would go if I found myself once again in the envious position of raising small children. If we train them early to appreciate "the quiet and the subtle," they will prosper proportionally from the time we devote to instilling this in them. First, and this is important, turn off your cell phone. This time is only for you and for those who are with you right now. 
 
Now get back to basics:
  • Prepare a meal together, a simple meal.
  • Go on a bike ride; preferably on a bike path without cars. Ride slowly. Look around.
  • Read your child a story.
  • Let your child know that you would LOVE to have her read a story to YOU.
  • Go for a beach walk, on a succession of different beaches.
  • Walk a local hiking trail.
  • Play in the creek of said trail.
  • Pick a comfortable spot. Show your child how to remain still and quiet while out in nature. Listen.
  • Pay a visit to your local library and/or bookstore.
  • Visit other libraries.
  • Play catch, regularly.
  • Listen together to American folksongs.
  • Sing said folksongs together.
  • Get out and into nature very early in the morning.
  • Spend time in nature at dusk.
None of the above can do you any harm. The effects may be invisible to the eye or subtle beyond belief, but wouldn't it be fun to do the above together with the one you love?
 
Chris Caretto
Fifth Grade Teacher