Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 26, 2014

Take time to breathe

By Samantha Stroube-Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun

We are all in such a rush these days that time is passing us by and I don’t even think we realize it. This year our family decided to stay home for Spring Break and have a “stay-cation.” I had such feelings of guilt not taking our kids somewhere, because we love to take every opportunity to expose them to the world, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year.

But after the week got started, I had this inner peace come over me that I haven’t felt in a long, long time. It was a feeling of solace and comfort. For the first time in a long time we were all home together, with nothing on the calendar, no agenda, and no certain plans. We could be lazy all day around the house, or go out and find an activity to do. It was wonderful. My husband was home the entire week, and the oldest didn’t have a million plans with friends, and the middle dude wasn’t stacked up with activities.

We had the best week together. We laughed, we played, we had friends over, and we just spent much needed down time together as a family. When you are caught up in the rat race of life you don’t realize how much you need it and your kids need to just be home, and be quiet without any plans, activities or “Hurry up, let’s go, we’re late!” being yelled at them from the garage.

It warmed my heart to see my boys outside playing together, laughing, wrestling, and just being boys. I think kids sometimes forget how to be kids these days. They have so many activities, video games, and other distractions that keep them from just being kids. My husband and I are huge outdoor people, we actually get cabin fever if we stay in our house too long during the day; and it has definitely rubbed off on our boys. The minute we pull in our garage, they all fly out of the car, grab their respective scooter or bike and hit the concrete.

I remember growing up and we were out the door the minute Woody Woodpecker and our bowl of cereal was finished; and we wouldn’t come home until the street lights popped on, or we could hear our moms yelling for us. We used our imaginations all day long, we rode bikes, we played under the streets in the culverts that the creeks ran through, we played hide and seek, we built forts; you name it we did it.

We didn’t sit around inside and play video games, we didn’t text on the phone (mainly because cell phones didn’t exist), we got up and rode our bike to our friend’s house if we wanted to see them, and our mothers didn’t call us every five minutes to see if we were OK, because they couldn’t reach us. During the summer my mom would drop me off at the pool and I would swim for hours, play some tennis, and she would come get me when the pool was closing. All my friends were out there, and so we just swam until we were exhausted.

I feel bad for this younger generation sometimes, they are in so many leagues, and on traveling teams that sometimes I can see it in their eyes that they just want to be at home, be a kid, and take some time off from their hectic schedules. It’s good though that kids are in activities, it keeps them out of trouble, and I know childhood obesity is on the rise, so I guess it is better that they are in these activities. But sometimes I feel that just being a kid and staying busy outside and burning off their calories that way is what they want and need to be doing.

I suppose I am just a sentimental sap; I am trying to change with the times and be flexible, but in my mind a kid will always be just a kid, and they need that time with their faithful furry sidekick Sparky, that helps them solve crimes, and put the bad guys in jail in the fort you just built together in the backyard, not only for bonding with their pets, but using their imaginations.

I guess you could say I am stuck in the 70s and 80s—but in my defense it was a much simpler time. A time when families were families, and kids were kids, and dogs were sidekicks.

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Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Thursdays. She may be reached by email at columnwriter98@hotmail.com. Read her blog at Samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthadaviss1