Friday, July 08, 2011

ghost town

I feel old saying this, but times sure have changed since I was a youngster.
Okay maybe I'm laying it on a bit thick.
"Since I was a kid".

Summer holidays growing up meant staying in my P.J's watching Captain Kangaroo & The Price Is Right while eating bowls of puffed rice with 4 tablespoons of white sugar until my mom told us to get dressed and go outside for some fresh air.
Back then the air was actually fresh.
I would probably then hop on my red & white Banana seat bike and find some sort of an an adventure with my neighbourhood friends.
Gasp! Imagine that?
Maybe it was hanging out by the creek in the woods.
(I was so lucky to grow up surrounded by a conservation area.)
Collecting frogs or making clay sculptures.
The creek had gray clay in certain parts.
We would often have clay fights- a bit Lord of the Flies, but super fun.
This sounds very Leave It To Beaver, but I spent hours skipping stones into that creek.

Every summer we would try our hand at building a fort, tree house or a go-cart.
I loved doing stuff like that.
Or some days were spent just playing on the swings in the backyard, jumping through the sprinkler, having water balloon fights or just hanging out and doing nothing.
Life was so simple back then.
The only caveate was that I always had to head home when the street lights turned on.
Of course we never strayed too far from home and would periodically check back in to be fed and watered.
We really had so much freedom.

In those early years, I didn't go to camp or have organized play-dates.
I'm not even sure that the word "play-date" existed back then.
My dad would take two weeks off every summer and we would go on a road trip somewhere fun.
But other than that, we would stick close to home and just enjoy summer in a small town.
Oh sure, we got bored sometimes, but that's part of being a kid.
Or should I say a luxury of being a kid.
Boredom breeds curiosity and imagination in my opinion.
At least at the age of 6.
I'm sure its a different story when you hit the adolecent years.
Boredom in small town= getting into trouble.
But that's another post.

These days I feel like I have to plan activities for every day of the summer for Lulu.
Not that I really want to, it's just that it seems as though our entire neighbourhood, a.k.a Lauren's play-mates, have either gone away for the summer to the cottage or are booked into camps all summer long.
Sure, I have her signed up for 2 weeks of camp in July.
Those 2 weeks can't come fast enough let me tell you..
Silly me thought this year we would try things old school and just take the first couple weeks of summer to wing it.
Not sure if that was the best plan of action.
I'm already getting the whiny "I'm Bored" & "I'm lonely"
The kid really knows how to pull on my heart strings.
But I don't get that, as I have tried to line up some sort of activity every single day so far.
She's had several play dates, we've gone to the park, splash pads, had a camp fire, gone to the toy store & book store for a few treats to play with, done crafts not to mention I've been trying my best to play with her as much as possible.
And grocery shopping & running errands counts as fun too right?
I wish I could just tell her to go outside and play, but we live in a big city on a relatively busy street, not to mention all the construction going on.
It's barely safe to play on the front lawn as there are giant holes dug up by the city to replace all the gas lines.
Good times.
But even if the construction wasn't going on, I still wouldn't let her play in the front yard unsupervised.
The world just isn't the same.
I do feel bad that she is lonely and for the first time in 6 years there is a tiny part of me that feels bad that we didn't have a second child.
I keep telling myself that this is her reality, and as sad as it can be sometimes, that's life.

I really wanted to try to revert back to "old times" and try to keep things simple this summer.
Like the way things were for me growing up.
Because I'd like to think I had a pretty awesome childhood.
I just want Lulu to have the same kind of happiness and fun that I did growing up.
Because G-d forbid she gets bored and is forced to use her imagination..

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