Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Mother's Preconceptions

Sally has a great post over on her blog, A Gracious Home. She poses the question, "What should children do by the age of ten?" and then has a great list and comments.

I have three children over the age of ten and two more half way there. Her list reminded me how I eagerly anticipated re-experiencing the joys of my childhood through their eyes.

As I went through her list, I recalled this expectation. I also recalled how often I was totally disappointed by my children's reactions.

Sitting here today, I found it all quite funny! I had preconceptions of what my children would enjoy. The reality was they rarely reacted how I planned. Do children ever?

I'll borrow from Sally's list and share my remembrances...

Catch fireflies...I have not gotten one...ONE...of my children to be willing to do this. "Catch bugs??? What's wrong with you, Mom!?!"

Light sparklers...I have spent every 4th of July twirling sparklers while my family watches at a safe distance with buckets of water and sand. Well, not the buckets, but they're clearly ready to run.

Build a snowman...None of them have lasted a full snowman. After about the middle snowball, they're ready for snow angels or hot chocolate.

The beach...Great memories there, but their favorite thing was the hammock on the cottage porch.

Sandbox...They loved it. I hated it. Sand in the hair, the ears, the laundry, the floors, the shoes, and so on...

Baseball game...They were bored by the game, but thankfully it was minor-league. They loved the dancing characters and t-shirts shot out of cannons!

Camp...This was similar to the sandbox. Great for them. I felt like I'd turned into a domestic slave. Cook. Clean-up. Straighten-up campsite. Repeat.

Swing...finally, yes swinging is/was a good memory.

Fishing...fishing?!? Refer to fireflies.

Ride a bike...it just hasn't come natural for most of our children, motor-skill issues. Two of my olders now refuse and two youngers are still on training wheels. That equals one qualified bike rider out of the lot.

Zoo...yes, good memory. They got bored a bit quick, but still a winner.

Thanks, Sally for the fun I've had reflecting on your post today. That little list helped me laugh at something that has troubled me in the past. I can let go of my unmet expectations and enjoy the kids for who they are.

Maybe my grandkids will like sparklers....

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