Monday, February 6, 2012

A Kid Being a Kid

My son is an only child.  With that being said, he spends most of his time, while out of school, around adults.  I have noticed that this tends to make him seem more mature, and he tends not to use his imagination as much.

I have tried to be the “cool” mom and suggest certain fun, imaginative things, but he would rather shoot hoops, or play his PSP, or help me cook.  Don’t get me wrong, I love when he helps me cook (it actually gets done a lot faster!), but I start thinking back to when I was a kid and I needed to use my imagination to play.  My sister is 6 years older than me, so she wasn’t interested in playing with mud; she had people to talk to on the phone!  My parents didn’t entertain me.  Most weekends were spent either playing outside with the neighborhood kids, or acting out a play in the living room using my mom’s clothes as the wardrobe.

When my son spends the night at his friends’ homes, it is nice to hear the parents tell me, “Oh he had a blast building a fort, playing with action figures, etc.”  My son has NEVER built a fort in our house.  I offered to help him build one the other day…nope.  Not gonna happen.

I see sparks of creativity and imagination in my son.  He is very artsy; loves to draw, play musical instruments, and actually likes to go see art.  He did build “Camp Awesome” behind our sectional in our game room that was complete with WWE championship belts, blankets, and various stuffed animals that were victims to a cage match.  But I want more!  I feel as though his childhood would not be complete until I hear him acting out a play or movie in his room by himself.

I have to say, I did see him play outside the box this weekend at the Museum of Nature and Science.  We originally saw the shark exhibit, but then ventured to other areas of the museum.  It was here that the child in him took off.  There were demonstrations of mucous, vomiting (this I found particularly disgusting, even if it was behind Plexiglas and it was only water), and how germs are spread.  He ran from exhibit to exhibit and invited me to play along.  To see my son climb up into a giant nose is a proud moment for me.

So I attempt to have his friends over as much as possible, or have him over to their house for the mere fact that it keeps him a kid.  He wants to grow up so badly, and I don’t blame him.  But we all want to hang on to our youth, and by doing so for my son, I find what I miss the most.

What do you miss most from your youth?

Janet Fragle works in customer engagement for innovative technology solutions at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

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