This weekend I had to remind myself to let my kids be kids….
Sometimes as parents we try to control situations, most of the time for our kids’ safety, but too often we try to control them to make things more convenient for us… avoiding situations that could disrupt our day, cause a little chaos, etc…
On Sunday, we went outside to ride bikes and scooters; however my kids changed their mind and decided they wanted to play in our backyard instead… We have what I think is a pretty cool backyard with a pool, a nice treehouse with a slide, and some swings in the back…a pretty fun area for a kid. My first thoughts were…. “Hmm… if we go back, I am going to have to clean up the swings… also, I may have to go back inside to get mosquito repellent (they get bad at times), this may be a pain….”
After a couple of failed attempts trying to convince the kids to stay out front and ride their bikes, I gave up. We swung for a bit and then went to the treehouse to slide… This meant I had to wipe the slide clean (had to go get Lysol and a towel)…
While the kids played in the treehouse, I took advantage of the time, cracked open a beer and proceeded to clean our pool. Since it needed some water I opened up the hose and dropped it in the pool. This was their queue to play with water!! My first reaction was “Guys, please don’t play with the water– you are going to get wet, we are going to have to get new clothes, you are going to get cold, yadda yadda yadda”… After they were initially careful due to my annoying directions, they later began to be more careless with the water… I caught myself wanting to tell them to stop but then I thought “what the heck!, what’s the worst that can happen?? They get wet. So what?!! Let them be kids. Let them have fun!”
They had a blast! They got soaked! They got a ton of things wet and even ended up without their bottoms on the shallow end of the pool (which is freezing based on my “I am a baby with cold water” standards). I had a great time watching them be kids- they couldn’t stop laughing and played wonderfully together. It was a great wake up call for me to relax and to let the kids be kids. It was a win-win for all of us and an awesome way to spend our Sunday as a family.
Thank you kiddos for continuing to teach me how to be your dad; I love you.