A couple of years ago, everything I received for Mother’s Day was green- green colored, or green-environmentally slanted, or both. One of those things was a t-shirt that read Outdoor Mama. I wore that shirt until it literally fell to pieces. It was so me, as were all the other gifts bestowed upon me by my daughters.

I like the fact that my girls associate me with being outdoors, and I hope that’s a lifelong legacyI leave with them.  We don’t always enjoy doing the same things; I am shopping-mall-ophobic, Daughter #1 is bug-aphobic, but last summer she discovered she loves kayaking, so we’ve added that to our repertoire of things to do together. Daughter #2 professes to love pretty much everything we do outside, although sometimes I think she just goes along with the program to avoid any argument. I know she’s not keen on the whole “haul your body weight on your back and hike till you drop” thing, but she’s always keen to try new things.

Spending time outdoors is what I do best. Whether it’s gardening, lying in the hammock reading a book, hiking, paddling, or photographing, I can always find some activity that requires me to be out of the house (and thus not doing laundry!). But being outdoors is just a demonstration of what I really want to pass on to my girls- a wide-open love of life.  A fearless, put yourself out there approach to living.  Living in a state of being content and positive, so that you can find something good about every situation, every place, and every person. Encouraging them to go places, try new foods, meet people very different from themselves, work to learn something new.

In short, live.

Editors Note: Congrats to Traci on her first G & P article. Visit her blog.