So back last week at letter L when we were all “Yay Technology” because L is for LeapPad, I commented about how the aspirational mom-me had these visions about how parenthood would unfold.
You know, before I had kids.
When I was an expert.
One thing I was big on was unstructured outdoor play.
Because childhood today is SUPER structured.
From organized sports and activities, to coordinated play dates, to screen time. It’s not like it “used to be”, right?
You know, back in those free-range days where you locked the kids out of the house for hours to go amuse themselves and they just wandered the streets unsupervised Lord of the Flies style?
Or if Lord of the Flies is too extreme, how about Stand By Me?
Wait, they found a dead body in that one.
Okay, how about like in E.T. when they found an awesome alien and learnt valuable life lessons?
No. The Internet confirmed I don’t want to be that mom.
That kid got to save a killer whale and his foster parents were super supportive despite being pushed to break the law in order to help him out.
There’s also that signature picture which, as a parent, I find way less “Go be free Willy!” and way more “Please don’t fall on my kid Willy!”
Okay, I’m over thinking this.
Damn you movies!
See? Screen time is clearly evil.
O is for Outdoor Fun. Studies clearly show Canadian kids need more of it.
Working parenthood sometimes makes it hard to get outdoors. But actual parent-me and my husband still make an effort with our kids.
And when I feel I should do more, I consider that. But a surf of blog posts past here makes me feel, overall, that we are doing okay on this.
Overall, I think life is about living.
It’s about getting outdoors, out of your home and discovering everything the world beyond your front door has to offer.
Whether that’s skating on the street:
Staring in wonder at something new:
Or just exploring:
I want to give my kids the chance to get out and see the world.
Earlier this year, some days that was as simple as letting them sled on the snow pile in our front yard while I heated up the car before school.
Last fall, it was letting the 12-year-old girl across the street take my eldest on endless tours around the block on her bike once she’d finally mastered no training wheels.
In the near future, it may be letting my eldest walk home from the community centre or tour the block on her bike on her own.
But ultimately? It’s about learning to appreciate and partake in the beauty of the natural world around us.
There are many times, sitting at my computer or at my job, where at the end of the day I’d rather not.
Until we get back outside.
And then I am so much better for it.