Almost every house on our street has kids. During the school year, we were the only house busting with delightfully loud sounds of kids playing in the leaves in the fall, sledding and building snowmen in the winter, planting gardens in the spring and screaming as they run through the sprinkler and jump on the trampoline in the summer.
When school ended this year, I was looking forward to our street coming alive with the sounds and sights of Joyful children riding bikes, having lemonade stands, playing ball and just enjoying their unstructured summer freedom.
It was a bit shocking to see a school bus drop off so many kids on our street at 4pm! I soon learned that these kids all go to a "summer program", which seems to be our cultures trend right now. The kids get on a bus at 7:30am and are gone 5-6 days a week all summer long, away from their homes in exchange for a very structured summer program, in which they are in the care of others.
I do understand that most people work full time, so they need a place to send their kids all day. I can respect that. I just had a moment of realization of how much times have changed since I was a kid. The days of living in the moment, barefoot all summer catching frogs, climbing trees, having impromptu picnics and games with my neighborhood friends seem to be over for most kids in our culture.
I am so grateful to be living the life that we are. It seems like unscheduled time is such a luxury for most families in this time in history.
Today as I sat with my children on a banket in the yard, our street was silent. As I gazed at my barefoot kids with jelly on their face, my son woke me from my trance and said, "What do you guys wanna do after lunch?" I smiled, knowing that they can do whatever they want to do.
For us, the summer has only begun.