Updated: May 8, 2020
Wow...lots of different directions I could take a title like this...:)
When we’re home, one of our Saturday morning routines is walking about 1.5 miles to a local coffee shop. The kids will ride their bikes or scooters while my husband and I follow on foot. They chase each other, playing police officer, racing, or just chatting with one another. We love this outing, as it usually affords us a few moments of quiet when my husband and I can chat uninterrupted, recapping the week and planning for the rest of the weekend.
Last weekend, our son was dying to show off the longer, better, darker, all around superior skid marks he has been practicing on his bike. For those of you unfamiliar with a skid mark, they are created when you are riding fast, and hit a hard brake. It’s rubber meeting the road, literally. You know you have mad skills when you can turn while braking, spinning a 90 degree bike cookie. The joys of being nine.
We had oooh’d and aaaah’d over the tire marks a few times, and I commented to my husband that I had a hard time getting excited about this. Our son has popped a tire already from this, and he’s doing his best to give the new tire the same fate. Not only would a popped tire have interrupted our chat, but it leads to more on the to-do list. All of a sudden there’s an errand to the bike shop for a new tube and tire, waiting while it gets repaired, and the expense of the fix. The mom fairy has enough to do, and I had a hard time feeling joyful at the prospect of another task. Cue the crabby mom mood killer...whomp, whomp, whomp.
For me, parenting is this constant battle between fun and responsibility. Things like the thrill of a skid mark, dumping a lego bin, building forts with every cushion and blanket we own, or getting out a giant building project will make my type-A personality do a double-take. I have a difficult time not immediately jumping to the thought (battle) of clean up.
Imagination and creativity are childhood necessities and keep my kids busy for hours. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to constantly remind myself to practice what I preach. Childhood is magical. Play is their work. And nothing is worse than a nagging boss (or mom).