Sweet Childhood

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I wrote anything! Not that I haven’t thought about it.

My two older kids came home from a church function last night soaking wet. A water fight apparently took place outside the doors and both of them ended up in the middle. I haven’t seen such a satisfied, carefree expression on Erin’s face for months. It was as if all her anger dissolved in a water battle; she danced to bed.

Idyllic childhood.  My husband’s childhood is not filled with laughter or craziness, magic or imagination. His parents didn’t tickle him, laugh with him or make tents under tables. He behaved. It’s hard for him to break out of that with his own kids and not get angry when they come home soaking wet from a water battle. I watched a little conflict pass through his thoughts last night before he smiled at them.

My childhood was full of imagination and stories. Warm laps and fun. I remember being dragged around the house in a blanket screaming each time I hit a table leg. I remember being high up on a tree limb, legs wrapped around a rope and just jumping out as far as possible. When the moment was right, letting go and landing in a huge mud puddle. That was joy! I am the opposite of my husband; I love the chaos and drama of wrestling children and dogs barking at them. I love mud and puddles. I really love water battles and sprinkler fights. I don’t behave enough.

When did we decide that laughter gets too loud and giggles too silly? When did we, as parents, feel the need to reign in the fun if it’s bugging us? Why can’t we go barefoot outside if it’s wet or too cold? Who cares if our clothes match when our friends are waiting for us to hurry up and come out!

Right now there are goldfish cracker crumbs in my bed and marbles under my table. There are handprints on the fridge and dirty socks in the kitchen. There’s a little booger stained boy asleep in his bed with a smile on his face cause he had fun eating those crackers in mommy’s bed.

I want to stop worrying about towing the line and start living life again to the fullest. I want my children to feel each and every ounce of the day deep inside their souls. To try something fun even if it’s messy. No one has died from going to bed dirty. Each day they watch us to see what it’s like to be a grown up. I want them to look forward to it!

We only get one chance at each day. Dragging ourselves through it and managing to collapse is no way to live. Scheduling the hell out of our families so we don’t get bored or miss something is stressful and hurried. Having dinner at 6:00 and bedtime at 8:00 every day is just crazy.

Eat pizza in your pajamas, fill the bath tub with bubbles.  Read Dr. Seuss with all the voices. Stay up late if there’s a good show on. Tuck your teenager in for once. Turn up the music really, really loud. (Best if it’s Duran Duran or The Cars).

Get up in the tree and jump!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Informal Matriarch
    Mar 05, 2008 @ 14:22:54


    My childhood was filled with great adventures in the forest and ALWAYS coming home wet. I love seeing my kids make a mess or have so much fun that their hair is full soaked from sweat. I remember those times in my childhood fondly.


  2. dawn
    Mar 07, 2008 @ 10:10:50

    thanks for the reminder! yesterday was one of those examples for me – one I’ll think about more from now on . . . Did I really need to get home right after picking up the kids from school? . . . to do what? . . . sure I was tired from working all day and I wanted to check emails, make supper and finish the laundry . . . why? — yea — so I could rest later on! . . . in times like those I stop myself and weigh the benefits . . . no, my kids wanted and needed more outside time on the playground. So we spent the next hour or so there and even my 16 month old enjoyed going down the slide and up and down the steps at least 25 times. Such focused fun! It was worth it. Supper sure tasted better when we did get it — later than usual! 🙂


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