My Kids Will Have a Magical Childhood (One That I Will Help Make Happen)
I spent countless hours outside as a kid. My best friend and I would ride our bikes around town for hours, going from park to park, and stopping for a Slurpee somewhere along the way. I agree with Laditan, it was magical.
On summer vacation my parents took my sister and I traveling. I have visited nine of Canada's ten provinces, almost all of the States, England, Scotland and Wales. I have hiked the Grand Canyon, eaten all I could at a lobster fest after touring the Bluenose in Halifax, and thrown up in a rental car on the back windy roads of Scotland.
I recall on our second trip to Disneyland, when I was about eight, telling my Mom that I was, "quite old enough to ride every ride with my sister, and didn't need to ride any with mom or dad." I remember begging my sister to ride Space Mountain with me, and then bailing on her at the front of the line when I realized it was a roller coaster. I recall being about 12 and asking a girl about my age in the campsite next to us where the swimming pool was. We were in Quebec. I used charades and some words french I recalled from grade four. She figured it out and took me. We hung out for about an hour asking each other questions in our made up language. Even as I type this, these memories are making me smile. It was all magical.
We camped on weekends. I can cook a mean steak on a coal barbecue and can start a fire from a few pieces of a wood (and a LOT of matches). Thanks to my Dad, I can steer a canoe and bait and cast a fishing rod. If I am lucky enough to catch a fish I can skin, gut, and fillet it. I wasn't on the stoop with my dog like Laditan was, I was doing activities with my family, traveling with them, annoying them. It was magical.
We held our son's three year birthday at a local nature centre that has a play area and allows kids at the party to pet a snake and a salamander. I decorated the room with Spiderman everything, purchased a Spiderman cake, and customized the gift bags to the age of the kids attending. I didn't post it on Facebook. It wasn't a contest. I did it because I know he likes Spiderman. And he likes snakes. And it was -25 Celcius on his birthday and the indoor play area seemed appropriate. And he loved it. The other day we went back to the centre and he sang Happy Birthday the whole way there. He might not remember it when he is an adult, but he remembers it now. For my son, it was magical.
What I am realizing as a parent is that the type of upbringing you had affects your thoughts on what an appropriate upbringing is for your children. My husband grew up athletic, excelling in every sport he played while spending his childhood playing spontaneous games of soccer, football, and street hockey. We are passing this onto our children. Our three-year-old started skating lessons this winter and is in soccer for the spring. We have plans for our first trip to Disneyland next summer.
Ms. Laditan, your childhood was magical. Mine was magical too. And while we don't agree on the specifics, I believe your children's childhood will be just as magical as my kids'.
article previously ended with "I simply choose to partake in the magic" but the author removed it as the interpretation of it being snarky was not intended.