Thursday, June 30, 2011
Being a parent 4 years ago was a lot easier than it is today. Back then I would come home and the boys were lounging around, playing video games, watching TV or just doing as little as possible. It is sad to say, that I was glad for that, because I would come home from work exhausted and want nothing more than to do the exact same thing. NOTHING!!! We did to; we would sit around playing video games, watching TV, eating terrible things while drinking liters upon liters of soda.
Thankfully those days are gone. I get home to kids dying to get outside. Unfortunately active kids cannot act like I did as a young, active kid. When I was young, it was acceptable and safe for my parents to throw me out of the house at 7:00AM and not see me again until dinner time. I would spend my days getting into trouble, playing with my friends, swimming in the creeks, and all the other typical things a barefoot, redneck kid in Jacksonville, Fl did in the 80’s. In today’s time a parent who let’s their kids outside every day with no supervision is gambling with their children’s safety and life. I am terrified to let my kids out of the house without my wife or me right behind them. Even in our community, which has an abundance of kids and seemingly good people, I am reluctant to let my kids walk the 100 yards to the pool without going with them.
Sooo that means that if I want healthy and active kids then I have to be healthy and active as well. Thankfully my kids are great motivators. My youngest son will call me throughout the day with his “plans” for when I get home. Here is a typical plan for Jonah “First we are going for a bike ride, then we are going to play football, then when we get all hot and sweaty, mom will bring us popsicles and we will go swimming, how does that sound dad?”
He will call several times throughout the day to change and alter the plans. But he will literally be opening the door for me when I get home saying “OK…let’s go!!!”
How can I say no to that? Honestly, I am thankful my children have made the transition from smaller version of my lazy self to these active kids that cannot wait to get outside. I wish we lived in a perfect world where my wife could let them out during the day unsupervised to have fun with their friends. But when you read the papers in our town about 12 year old murderers, it terrifies me to think who you can trust.
So I will have to take what I can get. I will suck it up, put my work bag down and head right back outside to play with them every time they ask. I think as a parent in this day and age that level of caution is both a blessing and a chore at the same time. But that chore keeps me healthy and my kids happy.
On a side note: we finally replaced our broken camera. So expect some new photos soon. Maybe over the 4th of July weekend we will get photo friendly.