The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Columns

June 28, 2014

Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

PALESTINE —

Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

Since school ended the first week of June, my children (I have a 6-year-old daughter, too) are left with “nothing to do.”

We have not taken an official summer vacation yet, but we have managed to do a few things outside the norm. For instance, we've seen a few movies, gone a few places, visited friends out of town and been swimming – a lot. They've had play dates with friends, sleepovers, outings to parks, camps, VBS and such.

Even with all this, kids today, especially my precious ones, expect to be entertained.

Whatever happened to just being a kid and discovering fun things to do on your own?

My parents raised four girls, and I must admit we were probably a handful.

We took and enjoyed family vacations every summer when I was growing up. I remember those trips well. My dad and mom in the front seat and my three younger sisters and I in the back. That was before seatbelt laws, so it was common for us to stand up most of the trip and attempt to sightsee, pointing out things of interest as my dad tried to get us to our destination safely.

But outside our family vacations, my sisters and I spent many summer days at home painting the next masterpiece, exploring the great outdoors or playing with friends. We didn't wait for our parents to tell us what to do for entertainment, we used our imagination and created our own fun.

Some days we caught butterflies and then set them free. At night, we chased fire flies and put them in a jar before releasing them and chasing them again. I can almost promise that no bugs were harmed during this process as we marveled at the beautiful colors of the butterflies and the bright yellow light of the fire flies.

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