Klean Voices: Take Me to the River

Kids need the outdoors. They need wild places to run and pretend – where they can be, simply, kids. As parents, we know this – little children just aren’t meant to be cooped up inside all day.

That’s why I love this new video from American Rivers, following eight-year old Parker as he counts down his favorite things about rivers (#21, time with mom. My favorite).

I have two little boys, and outside time is important. Especially river time. Of course, a weekend on the North Umpqua or a float on the John Day isn’t always possible, because… work, laundry, groceries, diapers, naps, life. But we try. There are days we don’t get beyond the front yard, but sometimes exploring our old walnut tree, following bugs through the grass, and watching crows flying overhead is its own fantastic adventure.

When we get outside, we’re all happier.

When we’re outside, we get to bond as a family in new ways. My kids open my eyes to new perspectives. We’re away from screens and other distractions. My New Year’s resolutions centered around presence, patience and play. Being outside with my boys helps with all three.

So here’s to getting outside with our kids every day, rain or shine, whether it’s a camping trip or a simple walk around the neighborhood. Here’s to letting our kids be kids, and to enjoying the magic and beauty of fresh air and clean water together.

Klean Voice Contributor Amy Kober is the Senior Director of Communications at American Rivers, as well as the mother of two little boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon.