Situation Normal

(at school picnic)

Wonderful Wife: “It’s been about half an hour since they checked in. Can you see our kids?”

Me: “Lemme look.”

(stands up, scans large field of active children)

WW: “And?”

Me: “Yes, I can see them. They’re good.”

WW: “What are they doing?”

Me: “He’s with a group of his friends and it looks like they’re daring each other to eat dirt. She’s chasing some older boys and throwing mulch at them.”

(long pause)

WW: “Sounds about right.”

Me: “Situation Normal.”

(sits back down)

Rub Dirt On It

I don’t usually buy into the ego trap of complaining about “kids these days,” but I do think it’s a tangible loss that kids just don’t play outside as much anymore. School is great and, sure, lessons and play dates and indoor games are all good. But there is no replacement for the long hours of completely un-structured play I got to enjoy as a child. Kids are designed to get dirty and run and fall and get hurt and get scabs on your knees and stung by things and poison ivy and climb things and explore and make up games and stretch their legs and minds.