Saturday, April 26, 2008
75 degrees and blue skies, everyone sleeping in until almost 9, Pipo making bacon, EJ stirring the pancake batter, kids jamming to Wylcef Jean, no real plans for the day.... life is good!
Little League season is almost underway, and these types of mornings will be few and far between. I grew up playing every sport I could sign up for, and loved every minute of it. I never thought much about all the scheduling, running around, and driving all over the place my parents did. I know sports can be a great thing for kids. I know they can teach them so many things, along with giving them fun, structured time with friends. I guess it's that word that gets me sometimes. Structure. I fully believe that structure is good and necessary for kids... some of the time. But sometimes it stifles the best part of kids.
We just finished a weeklong Spring break here. I didn't have very much planned, and we lucked out with some amazing weather. The kids spent almost the entire week outside, doing whatever came to their minds. Half a tree fort was completed, a giant skateboard was created, and attempted to be ridden by individuals and sometimes several kids at a time (along with a few skinned knees!) A small funeral was organized for a dead goldfish... several neighbors attended. A lemonade stand with live music was set up, and brought the neighbors all out of the woodwork, creating a sort of impromptu block party. Many new creations were baked by small hands (chocolate banana peanut butter cookies!) and many many books were read while lazing in the hammock or the front porch swing.
We try to limit the structure around here, because the beauty of a week like this is blatant to me. I wholeheartedly think this is the best way for kids to grow up, and learn. But in today's society, structure is the norm. We limit our kids to one activity per season. I am always amaze at the folks whose kids play on multiple teams at once... I just couldn't keep up. But even with one sport, when you multiply it by all the kids here, it does tend to take over life. I am looking forward to walking over to the baseball park to watch the kids play. I know they love it, love being with their friends, love playing any sports, love being outside. But a big part of me will miss moments like this one. The pure, unstructured joy of a lazy Saturday morning.