With summer quickly approaching my mind begins to humm… there is SO. MUCH. FUN. to be had!
And I admit, it comes at a cost.
The cost you ask? Energy.
The pay off? Health. Fun. Fulfillment. And guess what?! Energy… Yep… you give and you get 🙂 It’s a win-win!
When Ollie was littler, we could throw him in a back-pack just like typically developing babies and go for a hike. The bigger he got, the better the work out. He’s now at a point that I’m not sure we can keep doing it for much longer and to be honest, that scares me a little. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And I’m sure we’ll find it because our family thrives outside.
Having kids with special needs will certainly challenge you but there are many many different options to get kids out there! We’ve used jogging strollers, toddler cars, sand wheelchairs, baby carriers, toddler carriers… I even have a friend who jimmy-rigged a rock climbing harness and strapped his over 70 lb. kid to his back so they could hike a mountain in Hawaii. I can’t say his wife was too excited about it 😉 There was a little hesitation for her regarding the cliffs up the path. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! They had a great time and felt accomplished.
Ollie didn’t begin sitting up until he was well over 2 years old. His trunk support was severely lacking back then. I know many of you may have babes with similair difficulties. But again, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Think… how can you secure your babe? There is a product called “Velfoam” that has worked wonders for us! If you’re involved with Early Intervention or your child is in school, his/her therapists may be able to help you get your hands on some for free. With velfoam, we’ve kept Ollie on the back of bikes and his feet secured on pedals.
I’ve included some pictures of the many ways we’ve carted him around. But just for the record, as of now he’s almost 60 lbs and I STILL love the Ergo pack for carrying him. You can find them here: amazon.com
It’s easiest on my body and comfortable for him as well. Technically it only holds children up to 45 pounds… but I’m going to continue using it until it breaks or it won’t physically hold him anymore.
Before I wrap this up, lets finish with a big WHY…
Why get outside?
For starters, your kids will have fun and be happier.
Going outside creates many opportunities for excercise that is actually fun…unlike running on a treadmill or something boring like that… 🙂
Studies have proven that being out in nature lowers stress levels and helps us move towards a more positive outlook on life.
Vitamin D! We need it people!
It promotes team work and together-ness.
I’m not sure if I just made up a word, but you get it right? There are few things that my whole family enjoys together. My kids don’t thrive on going to a brewery or a quiet restaurant. I don’t thrive on playing with play dough. Henry, our toddler doesn’t thrive on reading novels without pictures.
But our whole family thrives on being outside, moving their bodies to whatever capacity they can, and getting some fresh air! Nature is beautiful and often times free!
My hope for you today is that you feel inspired to get out there with your people. If you need help, ask for it! Many a friends have taken turns with my big guy when he got too heavy for one of my hikes.
I will admit, there have been times that went south in a BIG WAY. Sometimes it doesn’t work the way we want. BUT… we learn from those times and create better ones the next time. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid to not try.
I promise you, it’ll be worth it!