Friday, April 24, 2009
When I was growing up, we lived along the coastline so I had the train tracks and miles of beach as my ‘backyard’. I remember leaving my house when I was about 6 - 7yrs old to play, and then I would find myself very far away from where I started. I’d wandered down the train tracks or beach, head down, checking out this and that. I’d see a pretty stone or shell and continue to look for more, when I finally put my head up and realized where I was, I would turn around and slowly meander back. There never seemed to be an issue of pedophiles or ‘creepy people’ in those days. There was this park that I’d go to ALL the time and it was probably a good four blocks away – I would walk, bike or roller skate there BY MYSELF!
My husband too, grew up in a town of 10,000 and was kicked out of the house with his siblings after breakfast and not allowed back in till lunch time or dinner time. They all played in the yard, street, other kids’ yards, in the neighbouring field, at the park – you name it, they were there. All his mother had to do when it was mealtime was stand on the front porch and call their names, and they would all come running. All the kids would play together little ones and older ones – together. There wasn’t ever anyone left out like there is today.
It’s a shame to call over to a friend’s house and have the parent say, “Sorry, but Susie Q already has a playdate friend over; maybe another time.” What is wrong with this picture? Are we setting our kids up to fail? Our kids aren’t going to learn how to solve problems within groups because they aren’t placed in those situations anymore, now they spend more time playing with one or two others not the whole neighbourhood.
Now, if my kids aren’t where I last saw them or I can’t hear them nearby, I will panic a bit and maybe even start calling the neighbouring kids’ houses to see if my kids ended up there. I have had to train my children to let me know if they’re going to someone else’s house so I don’t worry. It seems sad that the children of today don’t have the freedom of play like we did growing up.
I understand that neighbourhoods are vast and spread out now, and sometimes your child’s school friends are in the next neighbourhood so they need to be driven over, but seriously, most families live in neighbourhoods with other children in them. Can we not trust our neighbours anymore? Have we become impatient with other neighbours or their children?
I just wish we could all be watchful parents from a distance, and let the kids play in the block together, knowing that just because I can’t see or hear my children, they are safe and being checked on by another caring parent or neighbour. It’s just about knowing who lives in the neighbourhood and keeping a watchful eye on anyone that doesn’t look familiar.
Maybe someday. . . .
Friday, April 17, 2009
My older child (Miss Smarty Pants) said to me: "Well, if its opposite day and we normally wear clothes, why don't I just go to school WITHOUT clothes on then?" Well, darlin', it doesn't really work that way. . .
So, they both decided to wear their clothes inside out; pants inside out so the pocket flaps are showing (its gonna make it a little more difficult to go to the washroom, but they don't know that yet), and shirts with seams and tags showing. I must say that I laughed out loud when I looked at my two girls with their clothes on this morning. It actually looked like they dressed themselves today. I can't imagine what people will think as they drive by the school today not knowing about this special day - all the kids wearing an arrangement of chaos.
Should be lots of laughs at the school today! *LOL* Fun times for all!
At least they will be able to wear their clothes again before getting washed. . .
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Are we just too busy to take the time anymore? I remember when we would get together for coffee just to chat about the week, go over to friends' houses at the end of the busy week to wind down and play games, support each other's endeavours and honour invitations. It doesn't seem like people have the time or interest in building on their friendships. There is more petty "behind the back" talking of others - Wow, I just had a revelation - maybe people are just bored with their own lives and need to talk about others to sound more interesting.
I still have a friendship that I made when I was in Grade 1 or 2. My parents moved me away after Grade 3 and we lost touch over many, many years. Amazingly, we met up again after graduation and have since then moved in and out of each other's lives. She ended our friendship after a man came between us - you know that old story of "he didn't treat me well and I had decided to stay with him". She couldn't stay supportive after that and we didn't speak for three years. I made the first move to mend our friendship and now we continue to weave in and out with moving to different cities and same cities. This is a friendship that will never end because we both value friendships and realize there is a reason we keep connecting even after so many years.
I had a friend a long while ago that, after years of friendship and supporting one another, decided to end our friendship because I was having relationship troubles. Well, six years later, that boyfriend became my husband and we are fairly happy together. Sure we have our troubles and frustrations, but what couple doesn't at some point or another. That friendship has never been resurrected and I'm not sure it ever will be. I have tried to offer amends and initiate a renewed friendship but its just not being reciprocated. The funny thing is she was in the midst of her relationship turmoil and I stood by her side all the while.
Sometimes we need to make our own mistakes (and hopefully learn from them), but through it all we need our friends to lean on.
More recently, I have a friend who, after spending the majority of the year having fun, doing activities and socializing, she said to me, "Well, I don't know when I'll see you next since school is starting and I've got to start working on my business and other stuff - so I guess we'll see you around sometime." What the hell was that all about???!! I am still shaking my head at the lack of social development happening here. When you've made a good friend, the last thing you do is push them away and act like an acquaintance instead. We've never gotten back to the ease of friendship that we had before and I find it ever so frustrating.
I know and am fully aware that we all have busy lives with careers, children and various activities. But seriously, are we all too busy to work on a friendship or two?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
My youngest was asking at 9am if she could "Please" have a piece of gum. Seriously?! Every waking moment now they're hounding me - morning, afternoon and evening. If I allowed them, they would go to bed blowing bubbles. But then morning would be an absolute disaster and well, we're not even gonna go there.
I always wait, in anticipation, of what the next 'obsession' will be - the next 'must have'. Because I know that next week, there will be something new. Stay tuned. . .
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I take a brief moment to watch as they play without a care, and I only wish that I could just play too - instead, my internal chore sargent barks orders:
clean the bathroom! sweep the floors! wash the dishes! do the laundry! pick up kid toys! dust all surfaces! make the beds! tidy, tidy, tidy! don't forget to look sexy for your husband!*SIGH*
Oh, to be a kid again!