In Partnership with Dawn.
My fingers hover over the keys in trepidation as I find the words, much like parenting itself is a wall of unsure certainty. A series of contradictions.
Go, spread your wings; but don’t leave the nest. Grow into your greatness; but stay small, stay my baby. Explore and adventure; but be careful, stay safe.
We all want what’s best for our kids and navigating those two converging yet opposite sides is a bit like walking a tightrope through the choices. Very true, very real emotions pull us in both directions… We want to protect and we want to empower.
We’re on a month long trek (well just a couple days shy), through uncharted territory for us. Our current #BlueSummerTour is taking us from Florida, through Texas, to Utah, into Arizona and back again. We’ve got a long list of places to visit, things to do, sights to see… and yet, I’m also welcoming the slower days in the house we’re calling home. The long stretches of morning where I don’t feel rushed, when I can watch the dark sky dissolve into light and with it slowly sip coffee and welcome the day, whatever it may bring. Yes, we actually have a few of those slow days “planned.” An odd juxtaposition, but it works. I’ve found you have to schedule your priorities, not just have them.
I want my kids to both grow and learn in the experience and cultures around us, to not be afraid to try new things and yet I don’t want them to miss out on being comfortable and knowledgeable in the home as well. Which drove me to ask myself: am I willing to starting letting go of my children?
Our new outdoor-friendly rhythm as of late, has us seeing nature in all of its glory, along with a few added benefits (Stronger legs, soon at least, I can feel the burn! Fresh air. Vitamin D. Better sleeps.). While some of the places (okay most of them since our hikes have all been on mountainous rocks!), have this mama a little out of her comfort zone – aka fear of heights – it’s also stretching my muscles on both sides of that tightrope.
Explore and adventure; but be careful, stay safe.
Just to note, while this was ALL a stretch for my own (I could argue, healthy) fear of heights, the angle of these photos does make the stomach drop a bit, doesn’t it?
Though just about every place we’ve explored has been a mix of breathtaking and majestic, we’ve climbed a couple hills and stepped over a few crevices to find trash left by other explorers. A sad sight indeed, though it’s also opened conversation about taking care of the beauty around us, respecting the nature that isn’t ours and what it means to care for wildlife, from birds to crawly creatures to marine life.
It’s been a game on our walks, to point out what we see and can name. My littlest’s favorite game although her just-turned-two-year-old repertoire is quite limited. The most popular part of her outdoor vocabulary is “bird” and baby girl loves to point out and find birds everywhere. It can be a good distraction when she’s not happy about life, a quick look around, a spotting of feathers and thankfully, we’ve got a happy interruption.
The “bird” is part of what made the new Dawn Wildlife Bottle (a special celebration label) a popular choice in my home, well, our home away from home. My kids loved the “bird” and I love that I can use it for SO many things (hello, stain treatment). This month, Dawn is celebrating 40 years helping save wildlife with more than 75,000 birds and marine animals feeling good about being back in the wild.
Since we are staying in a place with a kitchen that’s quite smaller than ours, it’s easy to clean up… and the size also makes it necessary to clean up after ourselves! I’ve been pretty vigilant about chores and the kids all pitch in to get them done quickly, although some of the most fun is with the bubbles from washing the dishes – which ends up not being such a quick job, but the dishes do get squeaky clean and we have fun in the process.
After talking about birds and nature with the kids, it’s fun to see that Dawn has been helping save wildlife with its tough on grease, gentle on skin – and feathers – formulation; in fact it’s the only dishwashing brand trusted by wildlife experts for decades. That’s something everybody – and every bird—can feel good about.
Also, if you want your very own wildlife experience, Dawn is hosting their Golden Duck Contest where you can win a trip to get a behind-the-scenes look at how their wildlife partners are helping save wildlife. Learn how to enter here: http://bit.ly/DawnWildlife40Sweeps
While I am feeling good about my little ones learning, exploring, trying new things and growing… I’m still walking the fine line.
Go, spread your wings; but don’t leave the nest.
I have a feeling though, this trip is helping us all discover the tension between both sides… both holding on and letting go, and find a good harmony.