My husband and I recently returned from Washington State visiting my daughter and son-in-law and family. It was a wonderful 9 days. My daughter, Rachel, has five children. The oldest is about to turn 15 in a couple weeks and the youngest is 6.
Mike and I were both struck by the wholesome activities that the children and whole family are involved in. This is especially important nowadays with electronics being front and center. As you know we see little ones, teens, and adults mesmerized in front of tablets and phones way to often.
Our grandchildren are in 4-H. We were there at the time of the fair where they showed their sheep, and the judge judges the sheep and the showmanship. There were many young boys and girls ages 8-18 showing their sheep, steers, pigs, and more.
My 10 year old granddaughter had a crazy lamb. and it went kinda nuts in the arena It was 105 degrees out and she was sweating buckets (so was I on the sideline) while trying to hold down her jumpy lamb and answer the questions of the judge. I was really proud of how she persevered. What a good life skill she was learning.
It was a great four days at the fair watching them show their sheep but also seeing that they had to keep the pens of their animals clean, keep part of the building clean where their animals were, feed and water the animals regularly, and be ready to answer any questions that spectators would have. The teenagers were helping the younger children. Everyone worked together. Of course, the parents were there keeping an eye on things and encouraging their children.
There were also fun events for all ages like mud volleyball and football games, the rodeo, the parents showing the animal and the kids judging which was very funny. There were no rides at this fair, only exhibits and events.
Rachel and Corey and the family camped out in a borrowed RV for the five days of the fair. There were a lot of other families doing the same. They had friends parked right next to them so there was great sharing of food, fellowship, and helping each other out. Our grandchildren had their friends over to the RV. Sometimes the RV was packed with kids, and it didn’t seem to phase Corey and Rachel. They were happy to have them.
The following days after the fair when we were back at Rachel’s house, we went on walks everyday, played card games, swam, went to the river, and played volleyball and basketball. We would also watch a movie during the day.
So why am I writing all this besides just being a proud mom and grandma? Well I feel for all you parents raising children today, where electronics are so prevalent. I didn’t have to deal with that to the degree that you all have to.
I want to remind you that there is a great outdoors outside you door. God gave it to us to enjoy. Get outside! Take the children on hikes, parks, swimming etc. If it is hot, find some indoor activities at the library or gyms, splash pads, play board games, etc.
I know it is easy to just let the kids be on devices. Oh the things you can get done, right? I understand, but it’s not good for the child. It doesn’t take long to get addicted to the screen.
I was recently impressed with a mother of four small children who told me she planned out every week of the summer for her and the children so that they wouldn’t just be sitting around. It takes work, I know, but you won’t regret it! It creates so much bonding as a family, as well as providing wonderful memories your children will look back on.
They grow up fast. Enjoy these precious years!
God bless you,
Mary Ann / Mother Hen