A child's innocence is a treasure. Watching my little ones grow has been the greatest gift I have given myself. The sparkle of their eyes as they learn and explore will be forever in my memory.
The everydayness of my work-from-home schedule can be overwhelming at times. As much as I value every waking moment with my kiddos, it is also easy to pop in another Sesame Street so I can get my work done—something I never thought I'd do.
So when my friend posted this link on Facebook, I took a good look. It is a bucket list of things every child should do before turning 13. The list is posted by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play for America's children. According to its site, not enough play spaces are being built, and existing spaces are falling in disrepair.
Kids are wasting away indoors. When kids don't play, they get fat, become anxious, depressed, violent, and developmentally stunted, according to the organization.
"Fears surrounding lawsuits and safety are trumping common sense, resulting in sterile, uninspired play environments," the site says. "Recess is being eliminated from our nation's schools. Kids are over-scheduled in their free time, many choose to stay indoors, lulled by television, computers and video games."
On KaBOOM!'s bucket list are activities like wallow in mud, run down a dune or roll down a hill, climb a tree, hang upside down, and throw a snowball. Thinking back to my childhood, I have fond memories of doing all these things. When we encourage outdoor play, let's hope our children will create their own fond memories. Will they really remember reaching the next level on "Call of Duty"?
Catch a bug, bury a treasure, wear a cape, and invent a recipe are more items from KaBOOM!'s list. As I sit here watching my kids climb on furniture as I try to earn a living, this kind of list helps. Parenting is tough business, regardless of where we work. A bucket list for children is a great reminder of what is important in childhood. It reminds me that my work is a means to an end.
Gotta go. It's time to take the kids outside.