As a parent I want the best for my children, but I am exhausted by all of the things our culture tells us our kids need to do in order to succeed. I look at my social feed and see my peers with their toddlers and preschoolers talking about preschool applications or shuffling their littles from dance to swimming to soccer. And I wonder, am I missing the mark?
My kids are not in anything. Like nothing. No paid activities. No extracurriculars. Not even preschool. GASP! They are 2 and 3 for Pete's sake! I am not ready to give my life to the culture of busyness that revolves around children's activities. People will ask me if I've signed my kids up for (insert any age appropriate weekly educational commitment that costs $100+ here) yet and I just stare blankly unaware that it was expected of me.
Our days are slow. They are often unstructured (which I admit is not always the best for us), but we are not busy. We are present. We are not rushing from one activity to the next. We take our time playing and imagining and enjoying each other. Will my kids suffer? No. Some may disagree with me and criticize my lack of activities, but as I watch my kids in our simple and slow life, I find myself feeling more confident in our life. They learn so much as we play and imagine and read. We spend our day looking for letters on street signs or in the aisles of Target. We count rocks and trees and cars and snacks. We make up stories. We play games to practice kindness or obedience or understanding emotions. We learn as we play.
These kids will only be tiny for a little while longer. I want to savor these days. Every single moment. There will be a time for sports and activities, but for now they just need to be little. I want to make their childhood magical through letting them experience ordinary moments.
What will you miss most about your kids being little? I think I'll miss listening to them imagine things out loud, in complete obliviousness that we can hear everything they are thinking.