Go outside and play!

As I’ve mentioned before I am one of four children.  My mother loved all of her children with a fierceness that can be matched to a mother in the wild (completely without condition and with a protectiveness to match); but she has stated that she could have been happy without children.  What did this mean for us?  We didn’t have a lot of sleepovers, and there wasn’t always “additional” children running through her house.  Mind you we had friends and they were usually always at our house, but they were on the porch or in the yard.  When we seemed to be driving my mother crazy with our “touchlessness” (you know when you are complaining because “he touched me” or “she keeps looking at me”) we would hear my mother yell, ‘go outside and play!’.  We would bolt for the door with the warning of not letting the street lights come on before we get back home following us.  Oh…the good ol’ days when kids played outside.

What has me walking down memory lane you may ask?  The baby doll has made friends with the kids on our block. 🙂  I have been mentioning to Stan that the kids in our neighborhood don’t play together.  They play with their siblings, if they have some, but you don’t really see kids hanging out the way we used to.  Oh I know the world has changed and there are predators out there, but come on folks, there were predators out there when I was growing up.  Heck…I lived in the inner-city, I came across some of them.  I was never molested and if someone approached me, I quickly told my parents and then prayed that my dad didn’t go to jail for trying to kill them if he ever found them.  There were fights (I even remember my mother coming running down the street to fight someone when she heard some kids was trying to “jump” my oldest brother) and we survived it all.  I can honestly say that I’m not a naive person today because I was allowed to get outside and play – get outside and live. 

I’ve gotten off of the reason for this post…my baby doll has made friends with some kids on our block!  It started out with her being outside and seeing the kids across the street.  The next thing you know they are racing each other from opposite sides of the street.  It was so cute. 🙂 Then she finally ran in the house to ask if she could go play with the kids across the street (two boys…it makes her no difference about gender – she just wants to play).  She had gotten her  dad to buy her some balloons that you could use to make figures with and she found out “Mr. John” (the kids father) knew how to make things out of the balloons (even better).  After that it was hard to get her to come back home to get ready for school the next day.  Monday after she got home from school, she sat in the front door watching to see when they would get home so she could go back out there to play again.  I told her she could not use Mr. John as a balloon toy making machine, but she could go out and play until it was time for ballet.  She only came in to change clothes because she was by her own description “getting so hot and sweaty”, but could barely take time out to use the bathroom because she didn’t want to miss out on her play time.  Do you remember those days?  When I called her to head to ballet, her main concern was if she would make it back home in time to play some more.  Later she made friends with a little girl who lives a few houses down from ours.  She barely wanted to sit down to have dinner.  When I called her into the house a little after 8 so that she could get ready for bed she had the smell of outdoors and youthful child and the exuberant look of a well-played out child.  A shower and painted toenails later (it flip-flop season), she was finishing up homework and was passed out by 9:30.  This was later than what I normally want, but the fact that the sun is up longer makes it harder for me to get her to bed by 9.  It’s hard to explain to a 6-year-old that it’s “quiet time” when the sun is still up. “Quiet time” is when she knows that she has to prepare herself for bed and sleep; she has to get somewhere and be still and quiet. 

It made my heart full to see that my baby doll had made friends, kids just don’t get out enough to play.  It’s why our First Lady has dedicated her time to boosting our children to get active.  Kids now-a-days spend so much time playing video games and watching television.  My baby’s life does not revolve around those things, so it makes for a hard time finding other kids that feel the same way.  How about you…do your children go outside and play with the neighborhood kids?

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