Yesterday, my husband, Dave, expressed that old cliché that he thinks that "time is moving too fast", that he worries that our girls will look back and not remember just hanging out with us.
I told him what he always tells me when I share these same sentiments: we are lucky to live on a block where the kids play outside together all day and night. That they are learning to get along in a group, make rules up on imaginary games, figure out what they like to do when they are bored, dig in the dirt (sometimes in the dead center of our already-struggling front lawn), form solid friendships exclusive of adult supervision and intervention, play kickball, soccer and touch football in the street: all fairly novel experiences in today's society. Play dates aren't scheduled, doorbells are rung. A simple dare results in everyone jumping into our pool, fully clothed. Impromptu picnics are planned next to an elderly neighbors' beautiful, yet underappreciated pond. It delights her that there is life and laughter in her quiet oasis. Dinners are eaten cross-legged on the lawn while sharing the highlights from the school day. It's all true and we feel incredibly blessed. If they are not at school or in an activity, they are outside with the crew. They have even started taking little bus trips throughout our small town. They are growing wings, courtesy of the safety in numbers.
Our neighborhood and its families are helping refine the edges on our children that Dave and I never could. They are an unbiased focus group that delivers their findings on a daily basis, in real time. They cover acceptable behavior, rule obeying, rule over-enforcing, the boundaries and limitations of sarcasm. There is no price that I could possibly put on this service.
My girls are gluten-free. Kind mothers have made sure that my girls have a stash of treats in their homes, fresh-baked on occasion. Our neighborhood is an embarrassment of riches.
Wow, did I digress. The point I was trying to make is that we are going through a universal struggle just like most modern parents: for whatever reason, it can feel as though we never have enough quality time with our children. Our girls are not as readily available because they are excited to be outside with friends. The time constraints that your family faces may relate to sports, play dates, careers, etc. It was pretty crazy timing that Dave mentioned this on the same day that I picked a book up from the library on the topic of making your home an atmosphere of coziness, togetherness. Setting a scene for comfort and sharing, unplugging and growing closer. Our experiment in Operation: Coziness starts tonight. To see the updates on how well we do on this maiden effort, please Like our Facebook Page. Please know that I fully expect that Dave and I will be cozily sitting inside our window (alone together), watching our smiling children racing down our street. There are worse things, right? ;)