Childhood Unplugged

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t realize it at the moment, but I’m hoping that this Saturday just been will firmly cement itself in Ethan’s head in an “oh yeah, that’s what we did when I was a kid” kinda way.  It won’t be a Best Day of My Life kind of memory, more of the Normal Day in the Neighborhood variety; similar to the memories I have of riding bikes until dark {sans helmets of course!}, playing tennis on the road, rollerskating and pole tennis tournaments.  Awesome memories that make me smile every time I cast my mind back.

E’s rugby coach came and picked him up in the morning to assist in a working bee at the clubhouse.  He got stuck-in with his friends and teammates, scrubbing the tackle-bags, hopefully doing a good job and learning a thing or two about chipping in and helping out, pride in your club and team spirit.  He had a great time by the sounds of it, yet I can’t even imagine what would happen if he was forced to clean anything at home that took longer than 10 minutes – it doesn’t bear thinking about honestly!

Whilst he was at the club, two of his other mates that live close by had popped over twice, desperate to go eel fishing with E in the river.  Despite his protestations, we sent him off to find his friends when he arrived home.  He totally wanted to stay at home, sit on the couch and play Xbox or Clash of Clans or some other waste of summer.  It was worth the fight and the filthy looks as Dave and I knew he’d be stoked within 5 minutes of walking out the door.  These are the battles that are worth fighting.  These are the ones that matter and will have a bigger long-term impact than policing wardrobe choices or riding his ass about every, single manners slip-up.

The three boys had an awesome {muddy} time down at the river and caught themselves an eel which they decided they were going to gut and eat.  They took care of business, hopped on their bikes and headed to another part of the river for an afternoon swim, supervised by one of their lovely Mums {not me, I was in DIY hell with a paintbrush and polyurethane but that’s another story}.  Following this they headed off on their bikes again to the third amigos house where their eel was pan fried and they shared dinner together.

Ethan arrived home on his bike at 8pm with some of their {surprisingly delicious} eel for us to try.  He was tired, happy and satisfied after a day which couldn’t really have had too much more ‘boy’ squeezed into it.  Good, old-school fun with an absolute minimum of screen time.  Loving it!

We live in a pretty special little pocket of Auckland that is very small {at this stage} and still very safe.  Ethan is 10 years old.  It’s time for him to experience independence {within clearly defined boundaries of course!} and having a little bit of freedom on his bike and with his friends is part of that imminent transition from child to teenager that is creeping ever closer.  Without showing him we trust him to make good decisions, he would be bored at home and we would be forever battling the screen.  It certainly helps to know other parents in your community and be able to quickly reach out and communicate with them via text message etc.  If you can find a lovely place for your children to spread their wings in a safe community, it’s worth every penny.

Childhood Unplugged Mummy Blog New Zealand