I found out today that my kids think I’m awesome when we play outside. Somewhere between home and the grocery store, them strapped into their car seats and pointing out every truck we passed, I asked them, “What do we do that’s awesome?” You see, I’m looking for summer ideas to avoid the end-of-summer crazies that hit us hard last year. I watched Max’s face light up in the rear-view mirror before he said, “Play.” Wait for it. “Outside.”
Play outside. What a simple simple something to do to make such an impact. Max giggled as he told me that he loves to slide and swing and dig and run and throw. And all the while, Julia was agreeing and laughing too. Hands and fingers were busy. Imaginations were moving. “Can we play outside when we get home?” Yes. Yes we can.
I think I expected them to list something complicated. Something difficult. Something that stresses me out just to think about. Like the overly busy museum with too many corners to hide in or the park playground where the equipment just blends into the woods. That’s the place where I once lost Julia trying to keep track of two kids on a busy Saturday. And we do go to the park (when it’s not busy or Jason’s around), but we can go outside anytime. We can walk through the sun room out the back door, and we’re there. Our feet are in the grass, there’s a swing set to play on, there’s a sandbox. We can dig and get ourselves dirty and chase and run and play.
And if that’s all it takes to make me “awesome,” then I can do that. And thank you to my children, once again, for teaching me. And showing me that it’s the smallest moments are sometimes the most important. We might just survive Summer after all.