I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Especially with my oldest turning 3 at the end of this month. It started with . . . what should I get her for her birthday? What did I like when I was 3? Then it dawned on me that I really don't remember much of anything about being 3. I remember getting a baby sister when I was 3. I remember my mother leaving me to go to the hospital to have her, but that's pretty much all I remember. This got me thinking even more. More to the times when I was a bit older and all of the fond memories that I had as a kid. It was a time when life was a lot easier. Everyone seemed to live more care free.
You wanna lick the chocolate off the beaters while we make brownies? Sure thing! Now it's more like . . . AHHHHH don't touch that! It has raw egg on it.
Oh, you're thirsty? Well look at that you're in luck! There's a hose right there! Now it's like . . . AHHHHH don't drink the pool water! You'll probably get some sort of bacterial infection, or a flesh eating virus if you drink that!
I don't remember car seats, even though I'm pretty sure I had one. I remember riding in the way back of my parents old Suburban and bouncing around with the groceries. I remember riding in the back of pick-up trucks. I remember being on my fathers shoulders while he water skied. These are things that my kids will never experience. They won't know that at one point in time Michael Jackson was super cool. Actually, they'll probably never know who Michael Jackson was. They'll never know the feeling of getting shot in the back with a cap disk gun while playing "Cops and Robbers". I'm not saying that's a bad thing . . . I'm just sayin'. They'll never know the awful feeling of sliding over a rock while using a slip and slide. (Unless they go to someone else's house. We really don't have the yard for one.) They'll never know the feeling of being so young and free. The feeling of leaving your house first thing in the morning and not coming back till you were hungry, or when the street lights came on.
My mom was one of the lucky ones, she knew she could bank on me being home by 5:30 on the dot. Just in time to watch The Brady Bunch. Parents were so laid back then. They'd be quick to hand over their spare change so you could ride your bike (without a helmet) to the corner store to get a Richie's Slush, or a Raspberry Lime Rickey from the local ice cream shop. Moms didn't seem to worry too much. I think the biggest concern back then was who shot the iconic villainous oilman, better known as J.R. Ewing in the hit series Dallas.
I broke bones and don't remember a time that I didn't have skinned knees. I lived life to the fullest. I think it's safe to say times have changed. For the better? I don't know . . . you can be your own judge of that.
Parents tend to freak out more when their child gets hurt. I've observed so many parents at the playground not even giving their kids space to play because they're so fearful of injury. Loosen up . . . that's what playgrounds are for. Kids jump, climb and run . . . let them. Kids get hurt too . . . it's part of life.
I worry about my kids eating habits. Are they getting enough vegetables? Probably not, but they are always offered to them. Just like us, kids will eat when they are hungry. I can't force broccoli in their mouths. (Despite my airplane like attempts, I gave up on stressing about that.) And yes, we are still on a big grilled cheese kick. I think it's been 437 consecutive days that I've been making them, but you know what? They are eating.
My biggest pet peeve about parents these days is not letting their kids explore and get dirty. I am a borderline OCD, clean freak with 2 small children. My house gets messy and I deal. My kids get dirty and I deal. We paint, we make mud pies, and we fill up buckets of water with bubbles to give their dolls baths . . . we have fun. Though they wont have the same fond memories that I had as a kid I want them to have good ones.
When we started up The Quirky Confessions website and I started blogging, an old boss of mine emailed me. She gave me some good advice about my somewhat new role in life as a stay at home mom. She said, "The days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy it." Those are words to live by.