Hosted by Cecily and Lolli
Summers today are not like the summers of my childhood.
When I was a kid the neighbor boy and I would scoot out of our houses early in the morning and head over to the park all day long. Sometimes we would stop back at home for a little lunch and other times we would pack a lunch and take them with us. Either way, we would be gone all day until I heard my dad's loud whistle coming from across the street signaling dinner time.
At the ripe old age of 6 that same neighbor boy (who was the same age as me) and I would jump on our bikes and ride two and a half miles through the city to the quarry where we would spend the entire day swimming. Yes, there were lifeguards there, but essentially, we were on our own.
Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) would I allow my young children to do the things that my parents allowed me to do. Never. Ever. And it wasn't just my parents. Todd was riding a dirt bike (as in, a motorcycle) when he was 8 years old. He and his neighborhood friends would ride around in the woods by his house all day long. I don't even let my kids play out in the front yard without me for fear they will ride out into the street (there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood) without looking for cars for the 100th time, or turn around on their bikes and not watch where they are going. The ONE time I ran in the house while they were playing on their bikes Tommy wasn't watching where he was going and ran into the neighbor's mailbox. Ouch. I was surprised he didn't break his collarbone. And of course, it was the one time a car happened to be driving down our street (it is a VERY quiet culdesac) and stopped to help Tommy when they saw what happened. I came back out of the house (I was just putting the dog back in the house for a SECOND), saw Tommy lying in the road with a car parked right behind him and thought he had been hit by a car. So scary. And then of course I felt like the biggest neglectful mother ever for not watching him more closely. And to think at his age I was biking 2 and a half miles by myself.
Sometimes I don't like where society has gone. Sometimes I think it was much better to just let your kids go explore without a parent's ever watchful eye. Sometimes I feel like I am taking away my kids' ability to think on their own. Learn from mistakes. Learn common sense. Other times I come out of my house and find Tommy has collided with the neighbor's mailbox (or that the boys have dug HUGE holes in the neighbor's yard, or are raking up my newly seeded grass) and realize they need my watchful eye.
The kids do get some unsupervised play in our backyard. They can go out and play on the playset and muck around doing whatever they like, but this summer the backyard has been off limits while we try to grow some grass back there after our construction project had destroyed the grass we previously had. So, one more thing that has made my job a little more difficult this summer.
So what's a mom to do?
Well, we are outside pretty much everyday. My kids aren't happy unless they are outside. It doesn't matter if it is 30 degrees or 100 degrees. They want to be outside. And I like that. But it does get a little tough trying to give the kids enough to do in summer when the backyard is off limits and, because of their age, they can't do too much without me. So, we go to parks. We go swimming at the lakes. We ride bikes. Play in the front yard. We take walks. And we repeat and recycle these options over and over and over again. It is nice when I can throw something different in there once in a while. You know, a festival, a zoo, a museum.
Yesterday the weather finally cooperated and we were able to go to the farmer's market. Yes, we've done this before, but it had been a while.
The farmer's market is located at one of our city's oldest parks and it has plenty of room to run, explore, and play. The kids love it there.
There is so much to see and do that the kids didn't know what to hit first. Should we check out the food? The crafts? Should we jump in the fountain? Should we run around like maniacs? Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions.
It was close to lunch so they decided on food. Surprise, surprise. (can you hear the sarcasm? my kids are gonna eat us out of house and home) I ordered four egg rolls, fried rice, and a couple of waters.
Minutes later their food was gone and they needed dessert. Funnel cake it is! All the fresh fruit and veggies that are sold at the market and we settled on fried rice and funnel cake. Oh my. In my defence I also bought two pounds of sugar snap peas and we ate half of that while at the park too.
After the dessert the kids burned off some energy while I munched on the peas.