Monday, April 20, 2009

The Business of Being a Kid

The weather has been very crazy here in Utah. Warm and sunny one day, rainy and snowy the next. Everyday that it's decently warm out, I take my kids to the park. But, on the days that it's rainy and snowy, I get to listen to my 3 year old ask all-the-live-long-day if we can go to the park. In order to find a way to say "yes" to him, we go to the Playplace at McDonald's (that is, when I have access to a car). On the not-so-picturesque days, the Playplace is always packed. And every kid there is running, climbing, sliding, swinging, jumping, crawling, and throwing like their lives depended on it. And maybe they do. Maybe that's Newton's 4th and undiscovered / unproven Law of Motion: A kid in motion is a kid that is alive. Who knows if I'm right because kids never stop moving, so we will never know if when they cease to move, they cease to exist. But, just take my word for it - those kids at the Playplace were dead serious about their playing.

It got me thinking about the business of being a kid. They're job is to discover and learn and have fun doing it. Too often I think my job is to counter all of the madness they unleash. I need to be more of an enabler and maybe even an instigator. Yes, there does need to be order in a home and the parents cannot allow the children to rule the roost. But, that will never by my problem. I will always be one of those moms that struggles with being too controlling and too authoritarian. My goal is to let go a little. To realize that messes can be cleaned, clothes can be washed, and broken things can be super glued. I need to allow my children to express themselves more freely and not freak out about how much more work it means for me. I need to enjoy my children how they are now, and not wish for the future when they won't be stuffing crayons, bouncy balls, and sticks into the printer. Those days will come to and end, and I think that I will miss them a little bit when they're gone.

I guess if the business of being a kid is to having fun discovering the world, then I had better have fun discovering it with them.

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