This past weekend I realized that it was okay to give up. Not in the educational sense, or career sense, no something much bigger than that in a sense (make sense?)
I am usually the one leading the battle cry of “what are you doing inside on a beautiful day like this?!” I have to make the plans, or come up with the ideas for outings and activities to get my family out the door to do something “fun”. It almost makes me crazy to see three healthy boys sitting inside of our house staring at the TV or iPods while the blue sky and gorgeous sunshine are beckoning them…and they don’t seem to care.
What makes it worse for me is a husband that also sees nothing wrong with staying in to watch TV during the gorgeous days of summer (grrrrr…) He is more than happy to plop himself onto the couch and watch countless hours of baseball or golf or whatever sport is being broadcast that day. I was actually told to “lighten up” and also asked “is it against the law to stay inside the house on a summer day?!” to which I replied “no, but it SHOULD be!” while I promptly pushed my little monsters out of the house and made them ride their bikes (yes, MADE THEM RIDE THEIR BIKES. Mommy Dearest has got nothing on me I guess)
But this past weekend I wasn’t feeling well after battling a virus for a week straight, I was run down, and tired of the fight. If they wanted to stay inside and waste yet another perfect day of the last week of their summer vacation let ’em. Why was I trying so hard? What is the point of “forced fun” anyway? Don’t they get enough of that idea at school? Plus, it also gives me permission to lay down and take a nap, to sloth for a day or two.
I know that my irrational fear of wasting beautiful days comes from a “Twilight Zone” episode. The one that takes place in the future, after we’ve destroyed the Earth’s normal cycle, and now the sun only comes out once every seven years, and even then for only one hour! The worst part is that there is a girl that the class seems to enjoy ostracizing, and another girl talks her into looking for something in the basement. Once she goes to the basement the “mean girl” locks her in the room! Shortly after this the entire class is brought outside to enjoy the one hour of sunlight -the first that most of them have ever experienced in their entire lives since they look about 7 or 8 years old – while this poor little girl is locked in a dark basement room with only a peep hole of a window to view the beauty of it all and watch as her classmates romp about in the golden warmth.
Since watching this episode as a young girl I have always been appreciative of warm, sunny days and beautiful blue skies. I often comment on it – ask my kids, they’ll roll their eyes and say “yeah, she does that a lot”, but it’s an appreciation that many people just take for granted. Especially very young people who don’t realize that all too soon they may be stuck in their own “basement” of a job that only allows them one hour a day to enjoy the warm sun and beautiful blue sky if they’re lucky. Sigh…melodramatic? Maybe.
Just please, put down the iPod, turn off the TV and go outside and play. It will make me feel better.