Swing Away the Days of Childhood
Swinging the days away. If my kids could do anything for the rest of their lives, in their views, it would be to swing. Then, of course, they would jump.
Despite the end of summer and the start of a new school year, Meghan and I are trying to keep the outdoors “alive.” In a new year, with new teachers and classmates, we want them to feel a sense of routine through the first few weeks of adjusting to school. The best way to do that is to keep going outside. If it’s not raining, the kids are heading outside for a decent portion of the day.
Starting New Routines
It’s amazing how routine really benefits a child’s life. Case in point, Adelaide was struggling with the afternoon parts of her day. In any new school year, the teacher gets used to her students, while the students realize, “Oh, this is different from last year.” New schedules. New information. It’s an overwhelming thing for a girl who LOVES school.
So, we explained how it might take a few days or weeks to get used to this year, but it will happen. When they both got home from school, they emptied their book bags, grabbed a drink, and went outside. We have soccer and kickballs, frisbees, ring toss, and the inevitable game of tag. Yes, we do play tag from time to time, but the swing set is what they love. Most recently, they love to make big jumps. Not that they compete about it at all. (Please feel free to imagine the biggest eye roll in the history of the world.)
Where was I? Right, the kids making these massive jumps from the swings. Now, Adelaide had a rough landing earlier in the summer, which made her not want to jump anymore for a while. We encouraged her and we told her we believed in her. Eventually, she hopped back on and gradually made bigger and bigger jumps.
Let Go and Swing Away
As a parent, it’s pretty darn satisfying to see your kid get back up after a fall and do what she loves to do. I wasn’t as brave as my kids are, so I’m glad to see them brush off falls. Being their parent is the best. They might not feel that I feel that way, because I have to parent them, but they are absolutely wonderful. It’s especially true when you see the focus on their faces when they soar through the air, and the smiles when they land. Even if landing means crash and roll.
It’s so hard to let go. I am probably what the picture in the dictionary shows when the term “helicopter parent” appears. Though, I make a concerted effort to dial it back and let them roam free. It’s not easy and I am definitely anything but perfect. It’s also important that they know that too. When I mess up at something, I share that with them. Then, they see me continue beyond the mistake and hopefully that’s encouraging to them.
So, when I see them swing, it gives me great joy. Adelaide pushed beyond that one fall to fly high again. Marshall, well, he’s hit or miss. I think he enjoys doing the whole rough landing thing. Again, he picks himself back up and rushes back to the swing. What else could a parent ask for?
What’s a mom to do though when it comes to forging new friendships after becoming a mom? Back in college it was so easy to make friends. You were surrounded by peers in the same stage of life as you. Now you are grown up, have a full-time job, plus a family. Who has time to seek out friends like you did in college?