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Thoughts For Thursday: Fun Can Be Had At Any Age

July 1, 2010 · 5 comments

in Parenting, Thoughts For Thursday

This summer, we have been spending some time at high school graduation parties.   At the most recent party, my 12 year old son was getting kind of sad.  Turns out that all this talk about college and everything has him nervous about graduating high school one day, and leaving his childhood behind.

It got me thinking, what’s not to love about childhood?  You get to goof around a lot, you don’t worry about money or standardized tests.  You just exist for your own purposes.   I didn’t blame him for being bummed about growing up!   I was actually pretty impressed with how introspective he was for someone so young.  It also made me glad that he relishes his childhood instead of wanting to grow up so fast like many kids seem to want to do these days.

So he and I had a long talk.  It was actually a somewhat therapeutic discussion for me too because I also mourn the passing of phases of my life.  I explained to him that you can always embrace having fun, it is just that as you get older, you have to balance it with responsibility.   We talked about how when you become a parent, you can decide what type of parent you want to be.   It can be a chance to re-live your childhood in a sense.   We discussed all things we have done as a family:  countless board games, bike rides, night frisbee, sledding in the backyard, hitting/catching fly balls, days at the beach, and so much more.   You can still have all that fun as a parent or grandparent, if you choose to.   My kids have all seen that our house may not be the most organized in the neighborhood, but we have had so much fun!!  

At the end of the discussion, I think my son felt a bit better.  I actually felt a little better too because it gave me a chance to reflect on all we have done.  So the next day, I built a fire in the middle of the afternoon and we roasted some marshmallows, and then we flew kites in the backyard.  In my opinion, fun is a choice.  Sure there are always chores that can be done.  However, to-do lists are infinite, so you might as well enjoy life in between tasks.  Besides, who couldn’t use a little more fun in their life?  Just shut down that computer or put down that paper and see if anyone is interested in a game of frisbee or whatever.  You never know what traditions you just  might start.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Reasons July 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Good for you! Sounds like it was a positive experience! So far my only regret is not recording enough. I don’t know why I don’t, I know I’ll regret not doing it in the future. I guess I’m too lazy 🙁

We have a lot more video of my son than my daughter, which is a shame… Since IMO, She is as cute as a button 🙂

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Kris July 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

MR – We have so many recordings just sitting on digital tape, doing nothing. Our biggest problem is getting them onto DVD. I offered my oldest son 20 bucks a tape and so far, he has not converted even one. I think that will be his summer project. One thing we used to do every New Years Eve is watch the tapes from the previous year. I loved that. Now, we don’t record nearly as much as we used to.

I think that it is very common to have more photos/video of the oldest child. I am the youngest, and I don’t think there are many pictures of me at all from childhood. Maybe I don’t really exist…

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Squirrelers July 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Sounds like a good job with that discussion. My kids are younger, but I can still relate to the concept that they can have their own deep thoughts and worries. As parents we have to understand this, and really take the time to communicate – a big part of which is listening. Like that saying goes, we are given just one mouth but two ears, and it’s for a reason!

As for living in the moment – the to do lists can certainly go on and on and on and on and on….you get the idea:) Sometimes we do have to totally toss them to the side and purely live in the moment. I’ll bet that’s when a lot of great memories are created.

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Kris July 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Squirrelers – thanks for commenting! My to do list is pretty much gone for the summer. That is, until I look around the house and see it is a disaster, and then I force everyone to spend an afternoon cleaning it. 🙂

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