My sister, my brother, and I loved to play in this back yard. I don’t remember how I happened to be upside down, but I love that I was. We had so much fun and made so many memories. We were able to walk to school since we were so close.
I love how this picture sums up childhood, when life was simple, we had no worries except for when dinner time was, and getting our homework done. My family also had chores to do around the house and we always had to listen and eat what was served.
Still, it was so carefree. I only wish my younger self had known to savor each and every moment of being a kid. Now I look back fondly and wish that I had, but it’s hard to see at the time. Since life was pretty good, I could have taken things for granted. Our parents helped us to not do that.
I was quite shy as a child, almost painfully so. Needless to say, I was a late bloomer and took things at my own pace. Things worked out at the right time for me, but it did take time and I thank my parents for helping me along and helping me to find myself.
I had a real and fun childhood and am so thankful to my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who were a part of that. I also appreciate our pastors, teachers, Camp Fire leaders, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teachers, and all other adults who helped me to become who I am today.
Now that I am a parent, my husband and I are trying to give Ian the best childhood we can. That doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that he asks for or giving him all that he wants. Instead, it means having plenty of time to play, complete his homework, help around the house, enjoy the library, Cub Scouts, having plenty of food, and so much more.
I am aware that some families don’t have that. We are teaching that to Ian as well and to have him be cognizant of others and be helpful. We had a food drive last week at school and Ian helped me choose the food and deliver it to school. And, at Christmas, he chose gifts for a boy on our Angel Tree at church. He is already learning and I am so grateful.
There are a few things that I think children need to know they are loved and safe:
- Unconditional love
- Discipline given in love not anger or hate
- Routine and consistency
- Regular and healthy meals
- Running water that is safe to shower in and drink
- Parents and other adults who want the best for them
- Time to play
- Learning to read
- Being told I Love You
- Being read to
- Being listened to
- Having family traditions
- A quality education
- A safe living environment
- Knowing they can count on their parents
May we be able to provide this for our children. If we can’t on our own, may we seek help from others. And, may we always love them and take care of them.
I will close with a few quotes about childhood. May we as parents enjoy it with our children.
- “There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence
- “Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” ~ John Betjeman
- “Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” ~ Author Unknown
- “In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.” ~ Robert Brault
- “It is never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~ Tom Robbins