The Lost Art of Childhood

Nothing speaks to me more than the sound of sprinklers on a hot summer day. I get a flash of my childhood with my mouth directly attached to the hose guzzling up the delicious taste of watery pennies. Cut to 2017 and my children are drinking organic milk and water that has been triple filtered by Brita. Since our move to Davis, I’ve relished in the notion that by living here we are giving our children exactly what my husband and I had in spades: a childhood. There are bicycle paths for miles, parks with monkey bars and twisty slides and neighbors with kids who sell lemonade on the corner. In this new age of terror and fear, I fear we are taking from our little ones what is the most important part of being a kid and that is simply-- just being a kid!

While it is tempting to worry and be overly cautious- here are opportunities I promise to give my girls.

I want them to:

Play with the neighborhood kids on a cul-de-sac… (pause for gasp) in the street!

Ride bikes (with helmets) far enough away from us that we can still hear them laughing.

Explore in the backyard by making forts, foraging for worms and getting dirty!

Be naked in the summers while dancing through sprinklers and drinking water directly from the hose.

Watch Disney movies with their little faces one inch from the screen.

Wrestle with their sibling and let them work out disputes when they can.

Every now and again be a hot, sticky, mess!

Climb on a jungle gym, while tangling up limbs and reaching new heights.

Try out for sports and learn what is means to be a good sport.

Swim in the bath tub with cousins, sisters, friends until their hands turn pruney and the water runs out.

 

I look forward to the ways I can help my girls grow up, but most importantly I want them to enjoy this precious time, because before they know it, it will be their turn to watch their own kids just be kids.

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That’s so Davis

Recently my husband and I moved our family back to his hometown of Davis, California. For those of you unfamiliar with this gem of a city, we are famous for my alma mater, UC Davis, as well as building a "Toad Tunnel" when local animal lovers were worried that wildlife would be harmed crossing a freeway overpass.

We have only been here less than a month and already I have a protective, territorial love for this town, like I have for my own children. I love it for its snobbiness about recycling and its bicycle claim to fame. I’ve immersed myself fully and committed whole-heartedly to the Davis way of life.

There have been little things:

I BYOGB (Bring Your Own Grocery Bags) everywhere.

Both my husband and I, as well as my parents have taken the girls to the farmers market, where they have danced to local bands like the bare-footed hippie children they are (barefooted with me-- socks/shoes, hats, sunscreen and hand-sanitized with my mom and Step Dad).

I just filled out a survey the city released to concerned citizens regarding the use of pesticide sprays near the parks, schools, and greenbelts.

 

There have been big things:

I published an article through the local paper, the Davis Enterprise, on behalf of Fit4Mom Davis.

http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/celebratemom-mom-strong/

 

Then there are the “that’s so Davis” things:

My car battery died (yes, we still own a car- no it's not a Prius, yet) and so I loaded my kids into the stroller and ran the 2.2 miles to my daughter's parent co-op preschool. Along the way I had FIVE people stop me to say "good morning" and tell me how beautiful my children were.

I mean, they are beautiful! (The girls enjoying the park and greenbelt behind our new house)

I mean, they are beautiful! (The girls enjoying the park and greenbelt behind our new house)

I am a part of an online group for Davis locals where people will “gift” items, their trade, or their time—it ranges from furniture, baby items, to helping someone reorganize their garage for two hours. Its mission is to encourage being “neighborly” by promoting gratitude and by expecting nothing in return. This is so Davis.

They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Don't mind if I do.

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The Slow Clap, Eye Roll

We have all been standing in line at the grocery store next to that one mom that likes to overshare her gluten free non-dairy vegan household success stories and your internal self can’t help but give a long slow clap eye roll when she says, “My son Amadeus isn’t allowed to watch TV, probably because we don’t even own one!” I’m happy for all your non-bribery related parenting wins, but I gotta do what I gotta do as a Mom to survive until bedtime each day.

Here is the short list that warrant the internal eye roll:

My kids don’t/will never/have never...

1.      Eat sugar, gluten, formula or fast food

2.      Watch TV

3.      Play on my phone or any other "electronic device"

4.     Use bottles or pacifiers

The worst offenders are the "when I have kids they will never" and here is the look I would give trying to suppress a laugh (only it's much cuter and more polite when I show my daughter doing it).

Every mom everywhere at one time or another is guilty of being a sugar dispensing, yelling, bribing, spoiling, enabler all while using TV or tablets as pacifiers or babysitters and to those that say they aren't, well all I have to say is...

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