Twenty Minutes of Summer
You won't believe what I make my kids do. To say we’ve had an eventful summer would be a complete understatement. We've crammed our lives into a storage building and 2 bedroom apartment, all while tying to locate the simplest of things like socks, underwear and the oh so coveted pair of tweezers. Hence the absence lately. School is still out for summer but we are trying to make the best of what we have left. Meanwhile, we’ve managed to fit in an cool little vacation, several local trips that have blown our minds and a pair of walkie talkies; Straight game changers.
What were your summers like when you were young? I remember visiting my PawPaw for the summer, my Aunt waking us all up, getting dressed, eating breakfast and then off for the day. Literally, we’d stay outside ALL day, only coming in to eat. We played outside for hours. If we wanted water, we used the spigot and dared not try to go in unless someone was bleeding, dying or trying to kill us. Back then my cousins and I thought life was so hard (no AC, whaaat?) but we had THE best time together. We were outside using our imagination and loving life as children. The memories I have are so vivid and to this day, we all talk about how much fun it was; even if we were locked out all day! We even lived to tell the story!
When I say, “Go play outside,” my kids act like I’m trying to punish them. It’s actually quite comical. With all the technology they use and are exposed to, I feel so guilty, yet I’m frustrated when they aren’t on something because they’re usually bugging me to death. (yes, another real life problem; no super mom here. I’m just trying to make it out here in these Momma streets, ya’ll).
I do as much as I can to get the kids outside and active but with the sale of our home, leaving our yard, trampoline, their individual rooms…it’s been tough for sure. We’re making the best of it. At least that’s what I keep telling myself and all the parental guilt I have for the inconveniences we’ve created for them. I know none of that is true but it feels like it.
Over and Out
We’ve been working on being more responsible and accountable for things as well as becoming more independent this summer. The kids are catered to and I admit, we’ve stunted their maturity with not allowing them to do more on their own. During the move, I found some old school walkie talkies that JC and I used during one of our trips from North Carolina and Indiana. We were driving separately, cell towers and service weren’t the best, so we bought these for communication purposes when we hit dead areas. The kids would play with them from time to time, but until now, I thought they were lost. They’ve been amazing! I’ve let the kids use them to go outside and play, take little trips around the new neighborhood, and even in stores when they’re a few aisles away. We’ve found a way to communicate, made code words and the kids feel empowered. It’s wonderful, practical and fun.
Now back to my first statement: You won’t believe what I make my kids do. I actually make them go out for 20 minutes at a time, (at least an hour total, weather permitting) at different times of the day. It’s a new thing. Since we started using the walkie talkies, bike rides have been more fun, explorative walks and visits have been so much easier. I’m not saying that we still don’t have issues with the PS4 or watching too much television, but this is a simple way to change it up and teach lessons without shoving it in their faces. In the end, friends, life is hard, change is harder and no matter what we do, we won’t always get it right, but we are blessed to get another chance. There are days I’ve cried, screamed, been discouraged and felt defeated. There are days that I smile, feel accomplished and appreciate this tremendous honor of guiding two little lives. It’s not always fun, but when it is, it’s amazing.
What We Need
These walkie talkies for my kids have kind of been what the Bible is for me. It’s a basic, old school way of communication with God, my Father. It’s a way I can communicate, gain independence, growth and freedom. It allows me to make choices on my own, but still keeps me connected to my source. It’s a guide and a lifeline. The Word is faithful, just like the walkie talkies. They both, however, require one thing to be functional: voluntary usage. As a mother, I hit the button and call out to my little ones to check in, and it’s their choice to respond. The Bible does the same for me. It is God’s way of speaking to me, but I have to open it, read it and respond to what He’s saying. It’s all part of the journey. Who would’ve ever thought you could get all that from a pair of walkie talkies? We live and learn everyday, don’t we?