Things I’d Do With My Kids, If I Had Any

Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain. ~Martin Mull

It seems these days I’m surrounded by kids. There’s the kids at work, my friends’ and cousins’ kids, the kids at the ballpark and at the skating rink. Because I don’t have any Mini-Mes of my own (yet), it’s a funny thing. I’m kind of that wise aunt/coach/mentor figure without actually having to worry about the medical bills or the tantrums or the endless fights. Really it’s a win-win situation. I get to spend time around kids without actually being responsible for their well-being.

With more Gen X and Gen Y women like me remaining childless by choice, it’s weird. On one hand I’m glad to have my social calendar devoid of ballet lessons and hockey practice and school recitals. At the same time I have that desire to pass along knowledge and wisdom to another generation. If only it could be done like the birth of Athena, where the little buggers sprang from my skull fully formed without the need of potty training and language development. Alas, it’s not.

When the weather starts turning from summer to winter, I always get this strange nostalgic feeling. I’m not getting any younger, but I wish I could pass along over thirty years of fall festivals and Trick or Treats and football games to, well, someone. There’s always a chance I could have kids of my own one day and I’d like to think I’m prepared. If nothing else, so that when I’m eighty or so, I’ll have someone willing to haul me around to medical appointments and grocery shopping.

And these are some of the seasonal activities I’d love to do with any child(ren) I might have. Because honestly, if I do any of this stuff on my own, I might be seen as some weirdo.

Going the whole nine yards for Halloween.

I’m not just talking store-bought costumes and simple jack-o-lanterns. I envision elaborate outfits (the family as The Munsters or The Incredibles, maybe), turning the house into a spooky manor, and baking everything from my mom’s famous pumpkin cookies to the “severed finger” treats I remember from school. I’d also be sure to take my kids to a pumpkin patch to pick their own gourd…and carry it to the car.

Engaging in playing and watching sports together.

In my opinion, every kid should at least try one sport in his or her life. Many studies point to the fact that athletics are a pathway to success. I’d also make sure to share the traditions of the World Series and high school and college football with my kids, and teach them about the grand history of the games. Plus, what Thanksgiving would be complete without a game of pickup football in the yard?

Taking regular Nature Walks.

As with sports, the experts also agree kids need nature. I’ll be the first to admit I have mixed feelings about our hyper-electronic society and that I relish the opportunity to take a walk in the woods. The bonding time is just one part of it, too: I’d have a chance to teach my kids about animals, plants, weather, and survival skills. It’s like broccoli for the soul, and most nature trails are free or nearly so.

Making the library, and reading, a regular and important part of our lives.

This one is a no-brainer, as I work in a library, but I can’t imagine not instilling a love of reading in any offspring of mine. In an age where kids are often embarrassed to be smart, it’s a disturbing trend. In most homes, kids get 4-6 hours of “screen time” daily. I’d make sure television was the luxury and books were the mainstay.

Helping my kids grow up to be strong, wise, and honest.

I wouldn’t expect them to be perfect, but I’d do the very best I could to make them self-sufficient good citizens. Because, like I said, one day I might need them to swing by Walgreens to get some more Depends.

If you’re a parent, what parenting advice has worked best for you? If you want to be a parent one day, how would you want to raise your kids?

~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on October 10, 2012.

14 Responses to “Things I’d Do With My Kids, If I Had Any”

  1. Great suggestions. Lots of outdoor activities. Cooking together too.

  2. I like other peoples kids because I can return them.
    Always fun to take them to things their parents wouldn’t or don’t have the opportunity to…

  3. […] collaboration between Hasty Words and Hotspur. Prawn and Quartered talked about fun things to if she had kids. And Summer Grant got some really good […]

  4. […] collaboration between Hasty Words and Hotspur. Prawn and Quartered talked about fun things to do if she had kids. And Summer Grant got some really good […]

  5. You will be a great parent!
    It is a special bond that you will never have with anyone else in the world!

  6. Wayne and I just bought a house, and we’re thinking about adopting kids actually. My condition makes having our own less attractive; plus, there are so many kids in need of good homes that I almost can’t not look at adopting. I like the idea of all of these things, and I know they’re part of the deal. It’s the other stuff you didn’t mention that has me nervous. Still, to be able to get a kid into music the same way Wayne and I are would be super cool. Reading, baseball, art projects—that’s the kind of stuff I kinda look forward to if we go through with this crazy plan. 🙂

    Great post!

    • Good to see you again, Jamie. I hope you do decide to adopt; that is a win-win situation. You will be a great mom and I know any child you have will grow up the right way. Keep me posted, OK? (I agree music and art are wonderful for kids, by the way.)

  7. I would just hope my kids weren’t normal. Normal would be the worst. My husband and I would be thoroughly disappointed in ourselves.

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