I wish I loved trees as much as my son loves trees. In fact, I wish I loved anything as much as my son loves trees.
Honestly, Sonny's love for all things leafy is borderline fanatical. He can be crying or screaming like a banshee, but the second I trundle his pram under some foliage everything changes.
First he looks slightly startled, then his eyes open wide like dinner plates, his jaw drops, his arms shoot up in the air, and his body starts quivering like a nervous dog. A few seconds later he lets out a large gargling sound, followed by that trademark gummy grin, and a genuine look of fascination and elation at what's happening above him.
Don't get me wrong, I like trees too, but this is something else. As soon as we emerge from beneath the canopy, his little face crumples again, before we dash to the next one and repeat the process. There doesn't seem to be a trunk of timber in England that won't get him revved up, and he certainly isn't species-biased either. Horse chestnut, willow, silver birch, oak, pine - and all the other types I couldn't even pretend to know - Sonny loves them all.
He's probably at his most vociferous and closest to boiling point beneath low-hanging branches, especially if sun is twinkling between twigs or wind is rustling leaves, but he isn't too picky. He lay for hours on end in our garden this summer, just screaming at the sky with manic delight and marvelling at the greenery above him.
Word of warning though. If your baby loves trees as much as mine does, don't make the same mistake I did and try to use their adoration of leaves as a technique to soothe them to sleep. All trees do is make Sonny excited, wired, and more up for it than ever. He won't sleep for hours after he's encountered one.
The arrival of autumn is also a severe cause for concern. Because with sinking temperatures, decreasing daylight hours, and leaves rapidly fleeing from branches, I'm praying he's still stimulated by the dark skeletal structures looming over his pram. If not, we'll probably have to paint some greenery on his bedroom ceiling.
What a funny little chap.
This article was originally published at www.theoutdoordad.co.uk
Follow Oli Reed on twitter: www.twitter.com/olireedoutdoors