It’s somewhat ironic that the theme for NaBloPoMo June 2012 is Jump because that is exactly what I want to do this month. I want to jump back into blogging. So I’m taking on the blog post a day challenge and jumping in once again.
Some of my favourite memories from my childhood are summer days spent up at the river near my grandparents’ cabin. There was always delicious barbecue, lots of conversation, popsicles (ice-lollies), and soda. Sometime between lunch and dinner we would all hike down to the river to swim and explore. I’ll never forget the first time I swam across the bit just below the rapids all by myself, or when I was allowed to finally go down the rapids on an inner tube all by myself. Yet those river related accomplishments pale in comparison to the first time I climbed up on the cliffs above the deep pool that’s directly after the gorge and jumped in. It was exhilarating. I had arrived. I was at long last a teenager, old enough to stray from my parents’ line of sight.
This summer I’ll be back there to visit with my husband and son. I suspect there will be no jumping in the water from the cliffs above, but there may be so lazy floating about down below the rapids. The boy turns 6 this week – so big and yet so little. I so many ways children today are such much more protected by their parents than I was growing up. I remember spending summer days playing with other children in my neighbourhood going from house to house to house, hoping in and out of paddling (wadding) pools, drinking Kool-Aid and consuming all kinds of brightly coloured candy. Yet, if I let my son do the same, I’m sure other parents would condemn me as that mother that isn’t looking after her son.
It makes me wonder when parenting styles shifted from teaching kids to be independent to sheltering from reality at every turn. I suppose the modern version is allowing our children the opportunity to explore and jump in to activities that interest them within a safe controlled environment. I look forward to letting my son explore the paths and shores I explored 25 years ago. It’s going to be a good summer, I believe.