When I was a little girl I would put on my blue jeans and t-shirt, call my friend Rochelle, and ride the neighbor’s ponies from morning to night. We got in plenty of trouble riding on school lawns, moving barricades on private property, and galloping on city streets. When we weren’t getting into trouble we were sitting in the sun eating our sack lunch next to, what we called, “The Lake”. It was a care free childhood.
Sports cost next to nothing in hand me down uniforms. School friends lived within blocks. Phones were attached to a wall. Things were different when I was a kid.
All I have to say is thank God I have three boys that generally enjoy each others company. Keenan and Jayden are going to be in 3rd grade and Kiel in 4th and I still have to plan their “playdates”. They call their friends and ask for more but in this crazy day it is rare to have an impromptu time to hang out. Why is that?
The need for multiple income families means time is limited. Organized sports have turned all consuming. Hundred dollar uniforms, full weekend tournaments, longer seasons. School friends are spread across the town because of how parents pick their schools. It is no longer dependent on geography. Socially speaking there is a higher expectation that you know where your child is at all times. Unaccompanied minor brings on a label of poor parenting. Whether it is for safety or to adhere to social pressures…you no longer wave to your kids at the door and tell them to be home before dark.
I, the ever-loving devils advocate, can argue for any of these things being the culprit. Time is limited and I want my child to have pro-social, culturally enriching, fun experiences. Parenting has thus turned into, financial backer, taxi service, event coordinator extraordinaire.
I loved my carefree childhood. I was blessed. I also love being involved in my kids lives. Maybe that means I’m the culprit! All of these factors are external influences and I allow them to affect how I parent.
Hmmm. So I suppose, at this end of this thought I find, once again I am blessed. I have three great kids who like each other. They play multiple sports. They have friends in every sector of the city. They have wonder and lust for life. I find once again…I am blessed.
I’m feeling grateful as I finish this post. Thank you to all who have touched my life and gotten in trouble with me as a kid or helped to cheer on my kids. I am better for knowing you.