My 9 year old daughter had a best friend spending the day and night with us. All I kept thinking as I watched them flit from activity to activity was: this is how it is supposed to be when you're nine or ten. This is what you're supposed to do and remember from your childhood.
I felt this enormous swell of accomplishment thinking that Jon and I have managed to provide a childhood to our kids, an organic one, not the pre-packaged kind and organized in Y camps.
Here's how Caitrin and Sarah spent the day (don't you miss days like this for yourself?):
- Painted with watercolors on the deck under the shade of big tree limbs
- Made clay figures and baked them in the oven
- Played badminton laughing at how few times the birdie got over the net
- Bounced on the trampoline
- Raced the dog around the yard
- Made a lemonade stand
- Sold lemonade
- Sold lemonade door-to-door to increase sales (it worked!)
- Sold lemonade to the ice cream truck driver!
- Bought ice cream from the same truck driver
- Made up cheers and performed them
- Flipped through magazines of girls in prom dresses
- Played cards
- Helped start a fire
- Made s'mores and got sticky marshmallow all over their sweet faces
- Snuggled up on the couch and watched "Space Balls" until they fell asleep
I peeked through windows, tiptoed outside to watch from behind trees, and provided the refreshments.
The sky stayed blue, the sun shone gently, and the air wasn't the least bit humid.
It was a perfect day to be nine in an Ohio summer.
By the end of the day, I realized that I loved living in Ohio. And I meant it.