Playing Outside In The Snow And In Bhopal
We had our first December snow yesterday into early this morning. Only a couple of inches but exciting for the kiddos (and Greg, who always seems to have snow on his birthday). Rebecca woke us all up at 7:00 AM screaming 'Wake up! Wake up! It's a winter wonderland outside!'. That didn't go over so well but we did have the 2 little ones bundled up and ready to go out by 9:00 AM. They made snow angels (or 'jack-o-lanterns', according to Gregory), crawled like bears, and made 'soup' in an old pail full of leaves and melted snow. This is the first year we've really been able to send the two of them out by themselves, and as I stood in the window sipping my warm, sweet coffee and watching my children frolic in the snow, I thought of how lucky I am to be able to safely send them out there.
Playing in the backyard is important. Rebecca's occupational therapist specifically told us to get her outside more. Not at a playground, or in organized sports, but simply running around in the back yard. Her exact words were "let her play and roll down hills". There have been studies done on ADHD children that show very positive results from time spent outdoors in a natural setting (again NOT on a playground or sports field). the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster, where a huge cloud of poisonous gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide company in Bhopal, India, killing and injuring tens of thousands of local residents. I thought about those parents and children in India, as I watched my own kids hang on trees and crawl over a snow covered stone wall. Where do those kids play? Even 25 years later, the now defunct factory is a garbage dump of toxic chemicals which leach into the surrounding soil and drinking water. How torturous must it be for Bhopal mothers to have to decide whether to force their children to stay inside, or send them out to play in toxic sludge? Tonight I join thousands of others in calling out Dow Chemical (purchaser of Union Carbide), and Baba Lal Gaur, Minister of Gas Relief and Rehabilitation in the affected area, to do the right thing and take responsibility for cleaning up the mess.