Something I often forget as the children grow up, is that the simple things are still the most fun. I trouble myself with what if they don’t have enough of X, Y & Z? I think about all the things I wanted as a child and the other day I realised that what I was thinking about wasn’t what I had wanted as a child, but instead was what I wanted to give my children.
My youngest does not care for shoes or socks, that did not stop us buying her Uggs before she could walk, my Middle child always dresses as though she were found in a lost and found bin, this does not stop me buying her Next, Zara, Burberry and Ralph Lauren dresses. My Eldest, she is so sweet and truly her bliss is comfortable leggings, large jumpers and a good book.
This did not stop me from providing her with electronics like a laptop, a 2DS and our living room is filled with a WII U, PS3 and more.
The other day however, rather than try and steer the day, the sun was pushing it’s way into the kitchen and glittering through the hair of the baby. I realised something. What I wanted, as a child was to run barefoot in the garden. I didn’t care if there were stones, pebbles or grass. I wanted to make potions with pink flowers in a birdbath and wear them the next day. I wanted to eat the mint leaves even though, at that time, I had no idea what they really were. I wanted to eat jam sandwiches on a rickety bench in the garden. I wanted to wear those shorts that look a bit stupid, I wanted my hair to be knotty and a mess and I wanted to hush excitedly when a bird landed a few feet away and I wanted to watch movies upside down exhausted.
So with that in mind I gave the girls a box of chalk, and I let them play how they wanted to play. In four hours they were covered head to toe in chalk dust of many colours, smelt lightly of sweat, had flowers and pollen stuck in their hair and they slept so quickly and deeply.
For them, for that afternoon they were free and it showed. They wore shoes only if they wanted, they had a mishmash of clothes on. They screamed, shouted, laughed and fell down. When they did fall though, when they grazed a knee, they each rushed to help each other and not a single tear was shed.
We spend so much time worrying about how we are doing as parents that often we miss out on letting the children be children.
So, that afternoon in the sun was a nice nice reminder that what I really want for my children isn’t what I give them and I vow that I will do better – in the right way.