Discovery is part of childhood. So as much as I look at the pretty summer schedules people are putting together and think, “I should do that,” I won’t.
Those schedules are tempting, though. Oh, so tempting! I admit that I love the idea of having structure in my day. Preferably for me, my children and my husband. Hey, I’m a Sagittarius with a Capricorn rising. I just can’t help it.
But when I went to my husband and said, “I’m going to sort out a summer schedule for the little one,” he said he didn’t think I should. I asked why not. After all, I’m Gen X and what have we been if not the parental generation known for structuring our children’s time? He answered very simply that we shouldn’t structure her day, that summer should be a time of free play and discovery.
Free Play & Discovery
Oh yes. That thing our generation seems to have forgotten as parents.
When I had my son in 2002, I already had a friendly “mommy guide.” She knew where to bring the kids to get the best pro photos taken, which activities they “should” get involved in, and had the perfect playroom in her house. I’m the imperfect mom who doesn’t think of any of those things. So I tried, but I could just never be like her or the other turbo moms. Even when I homeschooled my son, I couldn’t follow everyone else perfectly. Our curriculum was a mish-mash of what worked for him.
So with my daughter, I’m learning to be fine with that imperfection, not buying her everything, or taking her everywhere. Discovery comes naturally to her if I just step back and let her explore her world. Our backyard has plenty to offer – wildlife, wide open spaces to explore, and more.
While I’m not keeping up with the other moms, I see that my daughter is learning and growing without any extras in her life. A big backyard provides endless opportunities for her to discover.
Last week we went to the beach. It was as unstructured as it can be. Heck, I even forgot some essentials. Oops! But as we left for home, she asked if we would go back again. I told her we’d spend our summer like we’re in a Country Time lemonade commercial.