I do have things to do today, I really do. It's not my fault I got caught up in reading Drudge Report. Do you know there's a school district out in Washington state that's phasing out swingsets on the playgrounds? I guess kids get hurt on swings, and the insurance company for the district is putting pressure on the school to get rid of them.
My own childhood keeps getting better and better compared to how kids grow up these days. I mean, we didn't get home from school and park in front of a screen. If we were sick, we got to lie around and watch, "The Munsters", or, "Gilligan's Island", but otherwise, we were outside playing. We climbed trees and went exploring, we played kickball in the road, or huge games of jump rope. We rode our bikes everywhere, without cell phones to tell our mommies where we were. We jumped in piles of leaves, and sledded down hills in the neighborhood. We ice skated on the frozen swamp, or walked into town to use the public rink, which was free. We played games of hide and seek with all the kids on the block sometimes, even when it was getting dark out.
I tried to raise my kids like this too. We don't live in a neighborhood, but we have enough of our own kids, and when you add in some cousins, they certainly didn't lack for kids to play with. They have been allowed to make forts and roam the woods and climb trees and jump in those piles of leaves. I love those days when they go barefoot and run in and out of the house.
Today, our livingroom is sporting the Kids Live Here look. To achieve this, you get out a bin of Hess trucks, and park them on every table. You take building blocks, and scatter them all over the rug. You set some dolls on the couches, and set a bag of candy fireballs on the coffee table. You throw in a big bouncy ball, a sit-and-spin, a few Little Tikes plastic chairs, scatter some childrens' books around the floor, on the tables, on the couches, and voila! It looks nice and cozy!
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't like messes. But honestly, I have had children now for 29 and a half years. Eight of my kids are over 18 now, so I know how fast childhood flies by. Kids have to be able to play! This is their house too, it isn't my house! I keep the floors swept and clean, and I putter around, cleaning counters and washing clothes, making sure their bedding is clean, vacuuming cobwebs, putting the books vertically on the shelves....but it doesn't have to look like a furniture showroom in here. They can have blankies on the couches to cuddle under, and set up houses and forts.
It is dark and overcast today. I took my walk, assigned work, which most of them have finished. I made French Toast while Jonathan made scrambled eggs with cheese. He is dilly dallying with his work, the girls are finished and playing with is trucks. He is playing with the kitten....
Out and about we are going soon though, I want to get some of the stuff for this weekend's soccer tournament. Cases of Gatorade and water and soda and candy and and and.....I think I'll bring these three younger ones with me...they make it fun.
Paul called me today from France. I can't believe how, after all these years, I still love hearing his voice. He told me how he gave a girl there in the office a packet of Skittles, and she made him a special dessert in return. He didn't really think just giving someone candy merited a thank you gift, he said he couldn't imagine what she would do if he were to give her some AirHeads. I told him please don't.:) He is so funny. Blah, he has to fly into Belgium and only has an hour to get on his international flight, I hope he doesn't miss it. He is coming home on Saturday evening....I love it that I can't wait! If you have been reading this for any length of time, you know by now that our marriage isn't perfect. Sometimes I feel invisible, sometimes I feel like I can't do anything right. I get frustrated, I get barraged by feel-sorry-for-myself thoughts. But at the end of the day, I seriously still love my husband. And I can't express how thankful I am that he still loves me too.
"ABCDEFG....Gummy Bears are chasing me,
one is red,
one is blue,
one is peeing on my shoe,
now I'm running for my life,
because the red one has a knife."
That's what my little girls are singing right now.