Friday, August 31, 2012

John

Sometimes it's a real pain trying to get Carter to play outside. He likes to be entertained by screens. TV, Wii, LeapFrog, iPad, iPhone, computer, you name it. As long as it has a screen with moving images. On the days when it's cool enough to go outside (we live in a desert, remember?), I'll send him out. After much whining and dragging of feet, he's out the door, only to spend the entire time sitting on the welcome mat. Sigh. Whatever happened to the good ol' days when it was a feat to get kids to come home after being out all day?

Anyway, you can imagine my pleasant surprise when Carter asked if he could play outside today. By all means, kid.

Fifteen minutes later he came bounding back in.

"I caught a frog!" shrieked my wide-eyed grinning boy.

My heart swelled with pride. 'Atta boy, Carter. That's the essence of childhood right there.
I may or may not have been just as excited as he was, so we hopped in the car and drove straight to the pet store. A helpful employee instructed us on proper frog care and with a few purchases (including mealworms, YUCK!), we were off to create frog utopia.

"What are you going to name him?" I asked after we'd made the final touch of positioning the leaves just so.

"John." Carter answered, matter of fact.

I couldn't contain myself. There's nothing funnier than pets having human names, don't you think?

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My goal is to get these kids away from electronics. Not altogether, but there's got to be a balance. There's so much about childhood to enjoy. I once came across a book at Barnes and Noble titled 1001 Things Your Kids Should See & Do. It's got things like:

  • They need to collect a jar of lightning bugs at night
  • They need to ride a bike. And fall down. And get up and ride some more
  • They need to hear for themselves that a Monster Truck show just might be the noisiest thing in the world
  • They need to bait a hook. And take a fish off one. Learn that life is messy. Even some of the best parts


    You get the idea. Kids need to experience the wonder of life before the magic wears off. Life is messy. It gets downright unbearable at times. When that happens, it would do us well to get out there and maybe just go catch a dang ol' frog.

    And perhaps name it John.

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