By Annika Hamilton
The world they live in is a scary place. There are so many challenges that they may face.
But if they are to fight these warming skies, they must first see the world through innocent eyes.
To love our planet, our land, our home, we must let them be young, to explore and roam.
So show them the bush where the fantail sings, let them be guided by its fluttering wings.
Sit with them under a Kauri tree and let them run barefoot, shrieking with glee.
Listen with them to the Morepork at night and point out the beauty of a Tui in flight.
Take them to the beach for a nudie dash, to dance in the waves and make a splash.
Introduce them to a waddling Hoiho and watch a pod of dolphins put on a show.
Show them Ruapehu capped in snow and skim pumice with them at the lake below.
Dangle their feet in the fresh river flow and explore the outdoors with them each day they grow.
Because if they are to love our rugged terrain, we must let them wear Red Bands and trudge through the rain.
If they are to grow up protecting our bees, they must experience the beauty of our wildlife and trees.
If they are to care for our land and our sea, they must first be young, wild and free.
Since taking time off to raise her son Lachie, Annika has developed a love of writing. Annika studied Law and Geography at Otago University and prior to having Lachie was fully immersed in the commercial world, working in both London and New Zealand.
Annika and her husband have always been outdoorsy but since having Lachie, Annika has gained an even greater appreciation for nature and the environment. She now sees the world through the eyes of her son as he crawls around the garden examining each strand of grass, sinking his hands into the soil and watching butterflies and bees with an expression of pure fascination on his face.
Annika feels passionate about preserving the environment for future generations to enjoy and hopes to inspire other parents through her writing. Annika is also a wedding celebrant in the Waikato region.