LESSONS TO LIVE BY

This past weekend provided my children with a chance to see what life was like for my generation when we were their age. Although they didn’t travel back in time to the ‘70s and early ‘80s, they were able to partake of some of the activities that we did as kids and find that things could be simple to have fun.

Friday night Joel slept over his best friend’s house and spent most of the day Saturday playing with him at his house. Ryan went to see the play his fellow classmates were performing at the High School. It is nice to know that it is relatively safe to let your teen attend a function at school without you being present. I feel much more at ease doing this living in the suburbs as opposed to if we lived in a city.

I had read earlier in the week that a movie theatre we had never gone to was featuring free cartoon movies, one of which was Candy Land. Chad has a video which has an advertisement for this movie, but it was released in 1995. Whenever he sees the ad, he asks why I never bought that for him, and every time I tell him because that was a year BEFORE I had any children (Ryan was born in 1996). I’ve looked online, but have never been able to locate it for him. We even had Santa try with no dice. Because of all this, when I saw the ad in the newspaper, I thought it would be a fun thing to do.

Chad woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, ready to head off to see his movie. He helped with the few chores that needed to be done “so we won’t be late, because they don’t wait movies.” He helped look for the landmarks from our directions, and we did fine until we actually reached our destination. The directions said it was on the opposite side of the street from the actual location. We drove right past, because believe it or not, it wasn’t a big, huge complex which we are now used to. It was located in the middle of a strip mall, as I remember from my childhood. We turned around, and on the way back we spotted it. Everything was newly renovated, but it had the feel of attending the movies as I remember when I was a kid. I had as much fun as Chad.

That night, the boys attended a Scout function with Jim. They cooked their dinner over open fires, watched a movie outdoors, and had the option of camping out. They decided to come home instead, but had enjoyed all the other activities.

Chad had had such a good time at the movies on Saturday that he asked if he could go see the movie playing that morning. Jim took both Chad and Joel, which is something that he often doesn’t get the chance to do. Ryan, on the other hand didn’t have as much fun, but still was able to experience something from our pasts. Jim would often times as a kid go door to door offering his services to do seasonal yard work as a way to earn spending money. Ryan did this Sunday with the members of the Crew Team. They did yard work for homeowners around town, and in return, the homeowner would make a donation to support the Crew Team. He was pleased with the amount of money they earned, because the work had been a difficult task.

Chad spent the afternoon Sunday at a friend’s birthday party. His classmate had just wanted a few friends over to play. It was refreshing to see them have fun the old fashioned way, by getting dirty as boys should when playing outside. They played party games, including breaking a piñata, and wrapped it up with birthday cake and ice cream. Jim was a hit when he went to pick up Chad in the John Deere Gator, and took all the party guests for rides on the Gator through the woods. The kids were able to see you can have fun just being together, and you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to celebrate at a facility.

Not once did anyone play with a Gameboy, Play Station, Wii, watch a DVD or VHS tape, use the computer for games (Ryan did use it for homework purposes), or listen to an IPod. It was very refreshing to not have modern technology infringe on how simple life used to be. Now, back to the reality of the present.

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