A tent

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.



Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting

8 responses to “A tent

  1. GrandmaTiger

    My darling girl I just want to hug you right now for that comment! Brought tears to my eyes that you remember me that way, and not the less-fun memories from later on! Dust bunnies will wait, laundry doesn’t always have to be folded perfectly, take care of the living and loving and the rest…will get taken care of in its own good time.

  2. GrandmaTiger

    Oh, and as crafty as YOU are, I’ll bet the kids have a ton of castles and forts and who-knows what – made with love from your hands, not bought in haste at “Things R cheap”. Some of the best toys are empty cardboard boxes, which with a bit of imagination and a few parentalknife cuts, become a train or a racecar, a post office or a frontier fort….

  3. Amazing post. I was just thinking today how I want to buy my daughter a play tent, but ican just make my own! Like I did when I was little! We used to have friends spend the night and build “forts” out of chairs, pillows and blankets in the living room.

  4. bandofbrothers

    Amen! Good reminder.

    I let my boys do lots of stuff…but sometimes they take it too far and before I know it, stuffed kitties are flying through the air smashing vases and picture frames, LOL. I guess there is a happy balance. I want my boys to have fun in the house, but also to respect things…and I want them to respect other people’s houses, so they don’t get other mommies upset:)

  5. Paula

    really awesome post sis! amen to this. also, great new blog look! and bean looks identical to you in the first picture. omg.

  6. Lisa Wuertz

    Good point about the balance factor. Yeah, definitely don’t want my kids destroying nice things of my own or other mommies.

  7. GrandmaTiger

    I think we managed the balance prety well when you all were small; I don’t remember getting too many bad reports from the neighbors or anybody “banishing” you for being destructive. You knew how to be respectful little ladies when it was called for. Letting you play and express yourselves at home allowed you to keep it calm at other people’s homes.

  8. Kourtni

    Tents made from sheets are bigger and more fun anyway. I will confess that whenever one is errected in our kitchen or living room… it’s usually there for no less than 3 or 4 days. Mess gets to me at a point…. but I definitely don’t want my kids to think they can’t touch anything in our home. Life is messy!!!! Bring it on!!!

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