I’m hearing a lot of grumbling this week about Day Light Savings. And at 6:15am, I totally get it. After all, we probably only have about a week or two honeymoon period where our kids actually want to hibernate a bit longer in the cozy 6 o’clock shadows. But it turns out the school’s clocks changed too. So we get up, grumbling through the darkness toward a new day.
And our new days? Well, lately they consist of school, baseball practice and games, basketball games, “ballet”, and Big’s religious education requirements as he prepares for his First Communion in a couple months. Oh, and homework. There’s some of that too. It seems we’re constantly rushing from one activity to the next, checking things off the list.
Don’t get me wrong, the kids love their activities, or we wouldn’t do them. Really. It’s just that with Little getting into the sports mix, and Big moving into more competitive play, it’s that much more driving and scheduling.
So last night, when we pulled into the driveway at 5:20pm, my first inclination was to rush the kids into the house. To get Big started on his homework, throw dinner on the table, and start the whole bedtime routine that feels about ten times longer when Lenny is on a business trip.
But a funny thing happened. Big’s friend — our neighbor — casually cruised up on his skateboard. And they started throwing the baseball around. Then his big sister showed up on her scooter. And, God bless her, she started playing with Pink. Before I knew it, their other sister was in our yard too, and a game of pick-up baseball — complete with cheering and laughing and squabbling — was in full effect. With the warm sun smiling down upon it all.
As it all started to unfold, the first thought I had was, I’d better text their mom to let her know they’re here. The second thought I had was, my parents didn’t text my friends’ parents when they showed up and asked me to play.
We just played.
Suddenly, this feeling of youth and warmth and happiness and nostalgia rushed over me. And I just let them play.
I’m finding I’m encountering this…well, growing pain of sorts, a lot lately.
Little jumping off of swings. But you could get hurt! But he probably won’t. At least not too badly. And goodness knows I had a blast doing the very same thing as a kid.
Big wanting to ride his bike around the neighborhood with friends. Ack, watch out for cars! But I know he’s just as cautious — and far more capable and confident — as I was when I did the very same thing as a kid. (Plus there’s that whole helmet thing this generation has going for them.)
My kids are growing up quickly. They’re taking bigger risks, learning what their strong bodies are capable of, and embracing their independence from their
overbearing mother. And while it’s certainly my job to guide them, it’s not my job to stop them. To discourage them from embracing their big-ness.
I know the time has come for me to let them grow. Let them shine. Let them be.
And so, if Day Light Savings time gives them a bit more time each day to simply be kids — like I did when I was their age — then by all means, it’s this mama’s friend.