When my friend called to ask about getting the girls together, I had to holler down to the swing set in the back yard from my garden in the front yard. We were both outside, but my older two were off, one paint balling with her boyfriend and the other up at the college for a summer course she chose to take, so I had only one lonely child. We walked to get there and my friend walked her home.
I'm not a total stickler. We do have an X-box (not a 360) and a Play Station 2. We have a collection of DVDs and got a satellite dish about two years ago. The television wasn't on at all for the past two days except for the hour or so my husband watched it yesterday.
We keep busy with other things. My youngest helps with the dishes, takes care of all her animals and sweeps floors and helps sort and fold laundry. I also have her busy in the kitchen stirring what needs stirred and grabbing ingredients. My girls are not involved in sports or clubs or any summer programs to keep them busy. And they are not bored. I raise them like I was raised, kicking them out to play in the yard if they don't do it themselves, giving them things they must do - be responsible for - so they have a sense of accomplishment. I trust them to make their own decisions with me there keeping an eye on things, but not interfering unless I have to.
Now I hear "school all year round" and "summer school, why don't you have your daughter in it, it's a great program, you really SHOULD do it." And all I can think is "do not take my kids more than you already do!" and whatever happened to parents raising kids? What ever happened to letting a child learn how to occupy themselves? Game systems and televisions can all be unplugged and/or put off limits. But I'm very aware I live in a wonderful place, especially in this day and age. We're stuck in a time warp, changing only marginally from one decade to the next. This became very evident to me the day we had someone here from Harrisburg and they stared as if their eyes would pop out when I told my kids to go play outside. In our yard, the worst thing that might happen is they will get sprayed by a skunk.
So when this arrived in my email box today, it hit just the right note. I still raise my kids like I was raised in the 70s (and 80s but remember the time warp thing here) and everything here applies.
To Those of You Born 1930 - 1979
At the end of this email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno. If you don't read anything else, please read what he said.
Very well stated, Mr. Leno.
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE
1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. (Oh YES, so very true. Now we "must" be strapped inside so we can't move more than a few inches and we ride along side motorcyclist who no longer have to wear helmets - someone please explain that one to me!)
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?
Because we were always outside playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. (I HEAR THAT LOUD AND CLEAR!)
While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ? (Not really, but it makes me sick to see what our society has become.)
~ The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:
'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of swine flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'
For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us...go ahead and ignore this.. For the rest of us....pass this on.