Our Story Begins:
Getting Them Moving
As we trundled toward New Year’s Eve 2016, I took all four of my kids on a trip to the Midwest to visit my family. It’s an interesting thing to watch because, while I’m a corn-fed Midwesterner at heart . . . at least some of my kids, well . . . aren’t.
My oldest daughter was born there. So was her sister, but we moved away shortly after she started walking and moved to Texas. Her memories of snow, cold, and all that go with them are limited to very small amounts when the rare occurrence happened in our suburb.
There was a couple times when we moved to our current home that it happened, too, but we never had snow gear, blizzard suits, snow pants, none of that. My oldest skied a few times with friends, but that involves a few moments of cold followed by hot chocolate (or beer) at the lodge when you’re finished.
So it was with trepidation that I entered the realm of a place where the high temperature was 4. Yes . . . single-digit, four degrees. I should qualify that, as well, since with a wind chill that sometimes equated to somewhere in the neighborhood of -20 or -30.
Given that I have a set of children from warm climates and the fact they are from the technological generation, I worried that they may never see the outside in those climates.
I was wrong.
We worry so much about our children, but what we fail to do sometimes is give them even the slightest bit of indication of what life was like when we were kids. I don’t mean in the, “we had it so much harder we lived without cell phones you never get your face out of the phone what is wrong with you I walked uphill both ways you never pay attention” kind of way. I mean explaining just how much fun it was to have room to run. I mean just how amazing it was in hindsight to not think about work, school, chores, nothing and just go crazy in the outside.
My kids asked as the snow started to fall what I and my two brothers did when it was like this outside. We didn’t complain or grump. In fact, my oldest brother started to giggle and tell tales of dragging me behind a 3-wheeler on an innertube. Not that he wanted me to have fun, oh no. He tried his hardest to knock me off jumping over snow drifts. I giggled and said the same. Did we have accidents? Did we get hurt? Were we stupid?
Uh . . . yeah! We were teenagers. We didn’t have good judgement.
But we had some of the most fun we’d ever had and it didn’t involve our Atari 2600 videogame console or watching TV. It was just us being outside in the elements.
During the rare day of our trip when the temperature had hit 30 degrees my kids put on the winter coats I’d bought them and went outside. They didn’t get sent outside, they asked to go. They borrowed winter gloves and they built a snowman. They threw snowballs at each other. Then they . . . well they tackled each other in the snow.
I might very well be wrong here, but the reality is . . . kids are not wired to be . . . wired. At heart, they’re just like we are. So when the opportunity to clobber your sibling free of punishment comes you do it. When the idea of running around and freezing your a** off and giggling uncontrollably happens you do it.
Because in the end . . . it’s fun. Sure, they got out their phones and games afterward, but the memories they have . . . those are lingering more than any Angry Bird might.
What about you? Do you get your kids out and running around?