Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Things I Miss As My Kids Grow Up

Playgrounds. It was nice to sit on a shade-dappled bench reading or chit-chatting with parents and sitters while the kids played.

(Some) kids’ music, like They Might Be Giants and Trout Fishing in America.

(Some) kids’ movies. Shrek, Toy Story: some of the best movies are made for kids.

Children’s books. Picture books can be so unbelievably beautiful.

Reading aloud. We read aloud A LOT at our house. Sometimes still will, when I can get someone to listen. The Narnia Chronicles (twice), The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (each twice), Harry Potter (literally lost count, at least four times), Sherlock Holmes (a surprise big hit). Incidentally, the best audio book, for readers of any age, is Neil Gaiman reading his own The Graveyard Book.

Firefighters. Have no excuse to wave anymore. And when they invited my small kids to go ahead and climb around inside their trucks or admired the fire-truck pictures on my toddler’s light-up sneakers, I admit, my heart melted.

Amusement parks. “Adult” rides there are just a travail. Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, on which you look ridiculous unless in the company of a child, are more my speed.

Volunteering in class. My son’s earliest teachers “cooked” regularly in their classrooms. (Mostly, it was constructing things out of frosting and pretzel sticks.) And if reading aloud to a couple of kids is fun, reading to a whole class, most of them trying to lean on you, is even more fun.

The zoo. I still sometimes end up there, when my arty daughter sketches and takes photos. But it’s hard to beat being with a small child as a goat eats out of her hand.

Snow. Not as magical without a kid.

Christmas, Easter, Halloween, losing a tooth when there’s still a believer in the house.

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