Picnics and the Wisdom of Childhood

Isn’t it funny the things children say? I’ve had to go hide in the bathroom a few times this week just to laugh where the boy couldn’t see me. They’re funny little beings most certainly, but they can also be oh so wise as Jack saw fit to remind me this week. On Monday, he and I went to Central Park to play and while we were walking on the lawn he asked me if I remembered “when Daddy and me went to the playground and then you came with sandwiches and chips and we had a picnic?”

Vaguely I thought I remembered it… “Yeah, Buddy, I remember that”.

“We should do that some more.”

It was like the world stood still for a minute. We SHOULD do that some more. We should let him play and be a kid and then have picnics in the sunshine and be lazy together and talk about the clouds and look for rocks and sticks and make collections and just BE. Be together.

I’ve been sitting with other parents at his little gymnastics and sports classes and everyone is making plans for summer. This one’s in swimming and soccer and morning camp. That one’s in art and Spanish and ballet. Over in a Facebook group for local moms someone is looking for after school activities to “keep him busy in the afternoons after preschool”. I begin to question my game plan here. Is Jack under scheduled? It wouldn’t even matter because at $500-$750 a class, I can’t afford to put him in all these things anyway. Me staying at home hasn’t been the most brilliant financial decision…but hey, we’re pulling it off. Barely.

The conversation of what to do for the summer was stressing me out and making me sad. Making me honest to goodness, tears in my eyes sad. Mommy guilt because me staying at home means being on a budget.

And then my little boy said we should have more picnics.

I spread my jacket on the grass and pulled out the goldfish crackers and the peanut butter sandwich I’d packed that morning. We split the sandwich and discussed our favorite summer things. None of his suggestions were terribly expensive, they all seemed to really just involve us three being together. Mommy, Daddy and Jack.

So now I must find our picnic blanket, and park it by the front door. The weather is turning warm and this, this we can do. Turns out, it’s all he wants anyway.

Central Park East Meadow


Comments

Picnics and the Wisdom of Childhood — 3 Comments

    • Finally had the chance to go read this this morning! She is so very right – our childhood’s were magical just as they were. I was so bored during summer vacations, but when I think back on those months? Wow – they were filled with amazingness.

      • So true! I had tap, ballet and piano lessons but that was it, and the summers were completely off. Hours spent play acting, overseeing my siblings, reading, playing in the yard, doing chores (yes, we all had chores), even helping Dad in the fields during haying (oh what a thrill to ride in the hot sun on the little wooden bench on the side of the bailing machine ‘helping’ him by yelling if an untied bail came through – not that he could hear us over the machinery). Yet at the time I yearned for school, for activities again, thought I was so bored. But they were so sweet and really were busy – but in a low-key unstructured creative way.

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