We are all in such a rush these days that time is passing us by and I donít even think we realize it. This year our family decided to stay home for Spring Break and have a ďstay-cation.Ē I had such feelings of guilt not taking our kids somewhere, because we love to take every opportunity to expose them to the world, but it just wasnít in the cards for us this year.
But after the week got started, I had this inner peace come over me that I havenít felt in a long, long time. It was a feeling of solace and comfort. For the first time in a long time we were all home together, with nothing on the calendar, no agenda, and no certain plans. We could be lazy all day around the house, or go out and find an activity to do. It was wonderful. My husband was home the entire week and the oldest didnít have a million plans with friends and the middle dude wasnít stacked up with activities.
We had the best week together. We laughed, we played, we had friends over and we just spent much needed down time together as a family. When you are caught up in the rat race of life you donít realize how much you need it and your kids need to just be home and be quiet without any plans, activities or ďHurry up, letís go, weíre late!Ē being yelled at them from the garage.
It warmed my heart to see my boys outside playing together, laughing, wrestling and just being boys. I think kids sometimes forget how to be kids these days. They have so many activities, video games and other distractions that keep them from just being kids. My husband and I are huge outdoor people, we actually get cabin fever if we stay in our house too long during the day; and it has definitely rubbed off on our boys. The minute we pull in our garage, they all fly out of the car, grab their respective scooter or bike and hit the concrete.
I remember growing up and we were out the door the minute Woody Woodpecker and our bowl of cereal was finished; and we wouldnít come home until the street lights popped on, or we could hear our moms yelling for us. We used our imaginations all day long, we rode bikes, we played under the streets in the culverts that the creeks ran through, we played hide and seek, we built forts; you name it we did it.
We didnít sit around inside and play video games, we didnít text on the phone (mainly because cell phones didnít exist), we got up and rode our bike to our friendís house if we wanted to see them and our mothers didnít call us every five minutes to see if we were OK, bcause they couldnít reach us. During the summer my mom would drop me off at the pool and I would swim for hours, play some tennis and she would come get me when the pool was closing. All my friends were out there, and so we just swam until we were exhausted.
I feel bad for this younger generation sometimes, they are in so many leagues and on travelling teams that sometimes I can see it in their eyes that they just want to be at home, be a kid and take some time off from their hectic schedules. Itís good though that kids are in activities, it keeps them out of trouble and I know childhood obesity is on the rise, so I guess it is better that they are in these activities. But sometimes I feel that just being a kid and staying busy outside and burning off their calories that way is what they want and need to be doing.
I suppose I am just a sentimental sap; I am trying to change with the times and be flexible, but in my mind a kid will always be just a kid and they need that time with their faithful furry sidekick Sparky, that helps them solve crimes and put the bad guys in jail in the fort you just built together in the backyard, not only for bonding with their pets, but using their imaginations.
I guess you could say I am stuck in the Ď70s and Ď80s ó but in my defense it was a much simpler time. A time when families were families, and kids were kids, and dogs were sidekicks.
Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a local columnist based in Corsicana. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following Samanthaís blog at http://samantha-daviss.blogspot.com and on Twitter at @SamanthaDaviss1.