Last night Stephen was playing with Bean while I was making dinner. They were playing with the wooden train set and making tunnels with their bodies for the train to go through.
Then Stephen got the idea to run upstairs and get a bed sheet. With the help of a few dining chairs and some floor pillows we had the classic sheet tent fort.
A few thoughts struck me.
In some ways the simplistic sheet tent fort has become obsolete because you can buy play tents with castles, Dora, playhouses, etc.
I find myself in a constant struggle as a parent, wanting “more” for my kids in the way of childhood experiences and toys. The thing about wanting more is that there is ALWAYS something more to want. Always. For most of my life I’ve lived trapped in a rut of wanting more. I don’t want to be there anymore.
And, for those of you that happen to have a Dora or castle or whatever themed play tent, please don’t take this as me getting down on you and your stuff. I just want to learn to be satisfied with where I am at and what I have. Not trying to keep up with everyone.
The other line of thought that came about from the tent was that the reason all the neighborhood kids always came to our house even though many of them had much nicer toys and things than we did (and don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of nice things and more toys than we really knew what to do with), was that my mom was really fun. She always did creative things with us and she wasn’t afraid of her house becoming a little or a lot messy in the name of us having fun or doing something interesting.
I remember one friend’s mom who would get mad at us if we wrinkled the bed spread by sitting on it to play or listen to music. At another friend’s house we weren’t allowed to sit on the couches or furniture. One mom banned my sisters and I from playing with her son after we taught him about catching garden toads. One friend’s mom would get mad if we ate all the snacks.
I want to be the kind of mom that my mom was. One who cares more about her kids than stuff. Because in the end the stuff doesn’t matter. The haves and the have nots will all be the same in the end. We can’t take any of the stuff with us in the end. But we can take love, laughter and memories.