Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Childhood Simplified

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." ~ Kahlil Gibran

A few weeks ago, my boys discovered the fine art of cloud watching. It was a beautiful day so I decided to take them to the park to run around and get out there energy. They did for a bit and then finally went and settled at the gazebo in the corner of the park.

I went and joined them and they lay down so I joined them and my oldest started pointing things out in the clouds. I got quite a giggle watching them use their imaginations to find things in the sky. Granted, it was only a five minute (if even) ordeal but it was enough to bring me right back to my childhood.

The older two became bored quickly and ventured out to the playground to chase more pirates and me and my little man (who will be 2 in a few weeks) continued to lay there and watch the clouds. I pointed out things I saw and then a plane crossed overhead and that rose his curiosity even more.

Sometimes I feel that we take these little things for granted. Life becomes more of monetary values and the simple things -- well, we let them just slip away. Birthday parties no longer exist at homes with simple games of pin-the-tail on the donkey or musical chairs now they are costly and held at extravagant places. You drive down the street on a beautiful day and there are no children on the streets playing. When I was a child, we were booted out after 9:30 am (as to not wake the neighbors) and we were not allowed in (except for meals and potty breaks) until the street lights came on.

Where did the good ole' days go? I'm now reading a book called "Free Range Kids." The authors theory is that more kids are inside today because of parents fear. According to her statistics about 80% of us were sent outside like I just described but only 30% of us allow our children the same benefit. Some say the world is worse now...but statistically speaking its not more dangerous, the same dangers were there when we were kids but now we are too informed about it. So what do we do? We keep them in front of a tv, video games, etc and let these electronical babysitters drain our children. burn brain cells and risk their health for lack of exercise.

My boys love bubbles and baseball, they love dancing in the rain, cloud watching, searching for rainbows, chasing bugs and running through the grass barefoot. I am going to try to allow my children a little more "free range" so they don't miss out on all those fun activities we did as children. Mud pie anyone?


Holli said...

I really agree with you on this. As children we were booted out too and stayed out all day...things were simpler back then (bday parties, vacations) and it was fun. Where is the fun in staying in all day??

Brandie said...

You are totally right. I remember spending all hours of the day outside riding my bike. Today - you don't see that anymore because parents are scared to let their kids out of sight. It's so sad.

Sometimes I know I take things for granted and I don't realize it. I think we all do it without thinking. I want to enjoy the simple things in life!