Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I wanted my kids to be kids forever. I’ve been a mother for a decade now─and have loved almost every moment of it─and when I look into future and think that in 10 years my youngest child will be finishing high school I want to stop the clock and enjoy their childhood for longer. I know I’ll continue to be a mother beyond childhood and that the next phase will be full of new discoveries, but children are such a special type of people, I’m always amazed at their wit and views of the world and the way they make sense of the crazy and hectic world around them. I want them to live in the fantastic world that they re-invent everyday for longer─ before life starts to become too serious. And I wanted to enjoy my kids in this fantastic world for longer too.
When I look around and see children doing too many afterschool activities, being pressured to excel academically and at sports I often cringe thinking that these kids are being robbed of their childhood. But at the same time, I question if I’m doing enough to give my kids the opportunities they need for future success. I see so many parents stressing out to send their kids to private schools and planning their kids’ busy schedules. I often wonder if this is really necessary.
Then today, suddenly something hit me. We are living so much longer than 50 years ago. A growing number of people are living healthy, active lives well into their eighties. If we are adding years to our adult life shouldn’t we then look at our lives are a whole and really enjoy childhood a little bit longer or at least let kids be kids without rushing them into their adult years. They will have plenty of time to be grown ups. Children born today will have comparatively more years to catch up on anything that society expects of them than their parents had.
My kids, 10 and 7, today asked me if I had any balloons they could play with. I inflated the balloons for them. The neighbours arrived and asked for balloons too. They drew faces in their balloons, gave them names and went outside to play. I thought it was magical to watch kids this age playing with balloons. I don’t want to burst their bubbles anytime soon. I hope that my boys and all children out there are allowed to enjoy their childhood for as long as they can.