Monday, December 10, 2007

to go or not to go

Do you ever wonder?
I make calendars of events that are happening in my town.
There are hundreds of things every month.

There are storytimes, and puppet shows, and snow shoe treks in the mountains. There are Junior Ranger programs, and concerts and Frog and Toad bookclubs. Not to mention ice-skating shows, discussions of the Andes, and holiday cookie decorating.

Tons of things.
Mostly I'd rather stay home.
I'd rather decorate cookies at my kitchen table.
I'd rather we did our junior ranger learning on our own, at our own pace, and in our own way. Bothering Daddy with our questions and inquiries.
I'd rather we build a snowman or go sledding in the park than go sit in the cold to passively watch ice skaters.

I think about my own childhood, and what were the magical things for me? I don't really remember too many - I don't mean to sound ungrateful, or that it was wretched - it certainly could be that I just don't remember.
But I remember going to the library was always great. And if we went to an event there - whoof. That was extraordinary.

It isn't always that I just don't wanna go, of course.
I have a reasonable idea of what others would expect of my children (most of the children in my society know particular rules - stand still, raise your hand and wait to be called upon, don't holler and jump while someone is "teaching" you something, etc), and mine just really don't jive with that.
I don't ever require it. Well, hardly ever.
And I'm not saying that we're not fit for society, either.
I'm saying that even if my son read Frog and Toad (which we own, by the way), he'd probably not be all that interested in sitting in a circle and answering questions regarding what he's learned about it.
Puppet shows kind of freak him out - though we haven't been to one in almost a year.
Snow shoe trekking - aaah, that's something that we'd love! But Madd is too young, yet.

I'm really not trying to justify why I don't choose to gallivant around town all the time.
And I do wonder if it's in my children's best interest to Go.

I guess the thing to do is to write down (like so many others do, I'm sure) things that are of particular interest to us, and then the day before decide if we're up for it, or not.

I think too that what it comes down to is- right now our home seems so filled with Things To Do and Things To Learn that I just don't feel the need to explore the world.

If I have the option to Go, then I usually think... "Mmmm, let's Stay."


whimsigal said...

Your children live such rich lives there in your home! You referenced the societal expectations of children's behavior vs your own and we struggle with this as well. Sometimes I feel like the stress of dealing with those expectations isn't worth the outing.

Like you, I reflect upon my childhood occasionally and the best memories I have are those spent at home with my mom, watching her sew barbie clothes for me, making cookies, just being close to her. I don't remember saying I wish we could go to... It was nice to be at home because we had tons of things to do.

You surround yourselves with so many wonderful things and I feel certain in saying that I seriously doubt your children sit around thinking their lives lack some outside activity.

KMDuff said...

A happy haven of a home where everyone feels safe and comfortable and enjoys spending time together. Why leave? :)

Sometimes I find I really want to go out and do stuff, and its because I want to escape usually. :)

Stephanie said...

Thank you both!
Very much.
Exactly what I needed to hear.

I think we go in spurts, too - a frenzy of going out and exploring, maybe because inside our home we've become stagnant, or something - but, at stages (cycles) like this I am perfectly content to just play make-believe, bake cookies, play with stickers, read stories, let Maddie help me with the laundry and dusting, etc.

I spose that when we're up for an outing, we go. (two planned for today!)

Thanks for the support, M and Evie! It really set my mind at ease.

Stephanie Ozenne said...

I'm a total home-body, and being raised without snow, some days I don't even want to go outside!

I usually go through the calendars and put anything interesting on my family calendar. Then I can keep my eyes on them, and decide if they're worth the trouble or if we're feeling like it as events come up. Sometimes that makes for a very busy week, sometimes we go for long stretches at home.

piscesgrrl said...

I put dozens of things on the calendar that we never do. I guess it's there in case we feel compelled to get out, but obviously we rarely do. I love that we're content to be home - I especially love now hearing my school-bound child say he wants to be home, that he misses it.

You create such a free place, I can see why no one would want to leave! And it's a common lament these days that some kids don't know what it is to have large spaces of unstructured time.