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Friday, August 12, 2011


The Simplest Things

The Simplest Things.
There’s an old cliché about parents bringing home a Christmas gift for their kids in a huge box. They spent a fortune on the gift and were anxiously waiting to see the looks on the faces of the little ones upon opening it-with that the kids throw the gift aside and play with the box.

All of us who have kids and grandkids now this couldn’t have a truer ring. Last week I kept Dylan and Aidan happy by taking them to a nearby park with some saved hummus containers and plastic spoons. I took our bubble machine as well. The boys were the envy of the other kids who had actual sand toys and shovels. I can’t tell you how many kept asking my two “where did you get the cool toys? Can we share?”

Then they left their fancy items in the sand and played with the extra hummus containers I brought.

The day I filled the wading pool in the yard-I gave the boys some plastic drink cups leftover from our last family gathering and my cooking spoons, those kept them entertained for over 2 hours.

On the day I told them they were going to be junior reporters for me, the planner was nice enough to put bracelets on their wrists so they could join in the fun. What did they chose? Was it the face painting? No, too long a line. Was it the photo booth? No. My two had a blast talking and playing at the play-doh table and drawing on the chalk table. Oh-and hugging Scout the Safety Dog. It was an added and unexpected bonus when they were given coloring books and a stuffed version of Scout.

I promised them that if they behaved and did a good job of taking pictures (great-grandparents gave them cameras) and asking questions I would take them to do whatever they wanted.

They did and what did they want to do? No, not Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm. Not a trip to the beach or a movie-nope, nothing like these fun kids things.

Dylan and Aidan wanted to go to Von’s and get to ride in the cart with the car in front that had a TV in it!

I thought they’d at least say dinner at McD’s!

I happily took them to the market, let them get in the “car” and buckle up. They had a choice of 3 shows to choose from. They decided on Jake and the Pirates.

I pushed them up and down the aisles and made the grand purchase of a new big box of Crayola crayons. After all, Scout the Safety Dog gave them each a brand new coloring book-how would old crayons do?

When we got home, they happily colored in the books, I even added some paper for freehand art all the while I made a nice dinner of baked chicken breast, rigatoni made in chicken stock and salad. We all ate well and enjoyed the simple meal, the fun day and best of all-we enjoyed each other without breaking the proverbial bank.

We should all take a lesson from Dylan and Aidan the next time we think our kids/grandkids need big ticket items.

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