Kids and Laughter

IMG_0403Kids Laughter

Nothing beats the sound of kids playing, giggling and having fun. It all so innocent, not yet weighted down by responsibility and time restrictions, if they can think of it, they just do it.

There was a song years and years ago from perhaps a movie but the words “Childhood, childhood, beautiful girl and boyhood” were part of the lyrics.

You do not hear that same happy sound outside much anymore. Used to be when school got out, the kids were running around playing tag, hide and seek, throwing a ball around and inventing a new game. If a park was close by, then they were on the swings, seesaw, or slide.

Occasionally a bump or scratch brought a few tears but a run home and Mom would patch them up and off they went again. Natural exercise, learning to share, or even have a bit of a squabble but working it out on their own. Daycare did not exist, Mom was home. The super feeling of security for a child needing a hug.

Depending of how many years ago, if it was a rainy day the coloring books came out, the toys, little cars or dolls to entertain. No television way back when our grandparents were kids. They thoroughly enjoyed what they had. A new toy made by grandparents made them so happy. Maybe granddad showed a young boy how to make a wooden car or gramma showing her granddaughter how to knit put smiles on their faces.

At school, you learned to respect your teacher, do your best to do well and if per chance you did something to annoy the class you were put outside the classroom to stand in the hallway or if you were really naughty a call home to Mom!! You knew that meant a serious reprimand, even telling Dad when he came home from work. You were taught consequences for actions.

Today school kids have to be picked up from school and so often that can even be a bus taking them to a daycare where they have to wait until their parents get home from work. Playtime has to be organized with “play dates”. Cannot just run down the street and knock on a friends door.

Our children are placed into so many activities each day of the week from dance or art class, gymnastics, maybe organized sports like baseball, hockey, maybe tennis or swimming.

Being active is fantastic and if possible should be part of their growing up but…sometimes way too much.

Our kids are overwhelmed with the demands made on them. It is up early and off to school or the wee ones dropped off at daycare with no time for a leisurely breakfast as their parents have to get to work. Other people are bringing them up. A babysitter is likely the person taking them to all these activities. Then back home to handle homework waiting for Mom or Dad to come home. All are tired and so often mealtime suffers as hunger has set in and no one wants to wait to eat. Often comes down to ordering delivery or hopping in the car to go to a fast food restaurant. no time for sharing each persons day,  the TV is on. Parents feel guilty and mentally promise themselves things will change, but can they?

Perhaps to compensate or who knows what, parents have sided with their kids over the complaints of their teachers and are off to the school to file complaints about the teacher instead. If a child is injured in even a minor way that activity gets banned from the school playground.

With the stress we all are under, the television or computer, iPhone etc have become the entertainment. Off to bed and it all starts again very early the next day.  And they cannot relate to anything their grandparents can tell them as it is beyond their imagination.

Although we all do the very best we can, which child had or has a better life? Grown kids today have become insensitive to others feelings. Is that because so many people have been involved in their growing up? The ideals their parents have for them become a mix of so many.

For all our advances, sometimes those simple times may have been right.

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Fathers Day

IMG_0335_sRGBFather’s Day

The third Sunday in June is Father’s Day in many Countries. Depending on where you live it can vary by several months. In North America and quite a few European countries this is the day they choose. Australia & New Zealand celebrate theirs in September.

The date really does not matter. Just celebrating our Dads is what counts.

This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first Father’s Day. It was first celebrated in Spokane Washington. This was inspired by a lady who wanted to honor her Dad who raised 6 kids as a widower.

It was not accepted immediately by everyone even a lot of men themselves.

Even though President Woodrow Wilson had declared Mother’s Day an official holiday to celebrate on the second Sunday in May, it was not until 1972 that President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day an official day to honour Dads.

But none of the history matters. It is a day when we take extra time to reflect on our own Dads.

Dads many years ago were the bread winners, brought home the money needed to take care of the family he loved dearly. He would take on extra hours of work to make sure his children had what was necessary. Moms, for the most part, did not go to work outside the home then, but stayed home to look after the children.

Depending on your Dads employment you did not always get to spend as much time as possible with him but there was never any doubt that he loved you dearly.

I feel so lucky to have had an amazing Dad. He was never a really well person, but that never stopped him from going to work. He was brilliant without a formal college education. The pride in his face, whenever he introduced us to someone, we always knew how important we were to him.

Never does a Fathers Day go by without spending extra time thinking of him.

I hope you have or had someone who took care of you that way.

Seeing as the weather is warmer for Fathers Day than it is for Mothers Day it is a great day to have a picnic, barbeque, or take in a baseball game. Bottom line, just enjoy the time together if you can.

If distance prevents you getting to celebrate with each other, we can at least have Face Time together. How great is that! If you have lost your Dad then spend time reflecting on all he was to you. If there are no happy memories, then think about someone who may have stepped up to help you along the way. Make your own if you are a Dad so your children can have happy moments remembering you.