Earlier this week I came across this article from the Huffington Post, I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical. In the article the author reflects on how parenting has become practically a competitive sport and how parents are trying to schedule everything perfectly in their children's lives from perfect crafty playdates to the perfect birthday parties and how exhausting it is. (My sister made the point that this is exactly the reason she doesn't read parenting magazines any more, because they just perpetuate this notion that parents have to perfectly plan everything.) Not to mention how completely pointless it is because kids don't need grown ups to orchestrate it all for them since they are more than capable than doing it perfectly themselves. Which leads me to my water heater....
My water heater, without my realizing it, has slowly been dying! Yesterday afternoon The Water Heather Guy came to put in a new one and he was still here when the boys got home from school. Of course the boys stood outside the door and talked the poor guy's ear off while he was working. But then Mr. Water Heater did something awesome; he gave the boys two pieces of scrap foam pipe insulation, not to mention the giant cardboard box my new appliance arrived in.
My boys were thrilled! They spent most of the afternoon until dinner "sword fighting".
I didn't plan it.
They didn't plan it.
Mr. Water Heater Guy didn't plan it.
Nonetheless, Yip and Yap adored their new toys that cost them nothing.
Cost me nothing.
And got the boys out of Mr. Water Heater's way.
Had I tried to "organize" and "create" this moment for my boys it surely would have been a flop. I can't create that magical sense of daydreaming or losing time in their imagination. Kids have to do that for themselves.
If you have the chance read the article, I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical. It's a good read for parents, parents to be, and grandparents.