So, yesterday was the first official day of summer. My kiddos have been outside literally as much as possible since it's been nice enough. We’ve gotten out the kiddy pool, sprinkler, sandbox toys, and bubbles – oh, so many bubbles. Our neighbors even got a big trampoline and just set it up in their yard…I’m sure it will prove to be hours and hours of fun for the neighborhood children, including ours.
The other day as I was watching Vienna (3 ½) run through the sprinkler, something occurred to me: This is *exactly* what I have been waiting for my entire life - well, my adult/parent life, that is! As soon as Vienna was born, I envisioned her as a 3-5 year old, involved in some summer activities (like the swimming lessons that we started this year), but mostly just playing. I can’t even tell you how much I love that Vienna and Porter (18 months) both would rather play outside than be inside. If given the choice, they would live outside, I think.
I’m all for the structural play, learning, etc. that many parents, daycares, and experts subscribe to. We, too, do a lot of educational playing, flash cards, learning computer games, etc. But I think that we need to let our kids be kids, too. They don’t always have to have a planned activity. I also think they don’t need as many toys as they have (mine are no exception – we’ll save that for another post, though – ha!). Insert summer. The time to be outside, enjoying all that life has to offer!
I discovered recently that I love summer – especially with kids! I *love* being outside with them, playing with them, watching them, and capturing their loving and carefree innocence on camera. I love that I can just open the door, let them outside, and they will be entertained for hours! I love that I can make memories with them just by being there with them. I also love that though I’m not perfect, or even close to it, that our kids adore hanging out with their mommy (and daddy)…I’m trying to treasure each and every moment that we have together, and I can’t think of a better place to do it than in our own back yard.