Thursday, March 18, 2010

You're Never Too Old for Kid Day

A good twenty years ago I read somewhere about Kid Day. I think it may have been Sanity in the Summer, by Linda Dillow and Claudia Arp (a fabulous book by the way for all you moms with little kids.) The book was chock full of ideas on how to invest in your kids' lives during the summer months and not lose your mind.

I'd set aside little bits of money all year long, then when June came we'd take one day a week just for fun. Rarely did I allow the kids to bring along friends. Kid day was just for us, and for them to bond as siblings. A good thing since, being typical kids, they spent much of the other 6 days a week doing the typical bickering and blaming. I'd start summer with a list we'd made together - activities we wanted to do.

There were picnics by the pond, followed up with catching tadpoles in jars. Taking their first ride in a cab from Walmart to home. Entire days spent at the lake, swimming and playing in the sun. Local museums. Visiting residents of a nearby nursing home. History lessons were squeezed in at an indian mound near St. Louis. Putting on a play in the backyard and inviting the neighbors. All three kids still tell me they have great memories of kid day, and our girls have reenacted it with their own children.

So I realized a few days ago we can do kid day again, just Don and me! Now that he's retired we have an entirely open calendar if we're smart enough to realize it. We can also get so busy remodeling the house, working in the yard, running errands, that we work ourselves to death. So we agreed - a weekly kid day will be just the thing to keep us light hearted and having fun together. It'll also give us a great opportunity to learn the area we live in, and sometimes kid day might spill into two days so that we wander and explore all day, grab a B&B somewhere along the way and head back home the next day.

Last week was full of doctor appointments and errands and bills and laundry and such. So today is our first official kid day. We're headed to a famous german micro-brewery on the south side of Pittsburgh, for lunch alongside the river, then to see a matinee (we can do that now!), back home to grab a sandwich for dinner and then end our day by taking dessert to our daughter's house. Next week is our last one here in Pittsburgh, so we'll do something local again. Maybe drive up to Ohiopyle where we went camping so many times. Check out the rapids, grab an ice cream cone and head back home.

We're thinking future kid days will be to local antique stores, maybe wander into Louisiana or even Oklahoma, down to Waco, and sometimes just to take off in a direction and see where we end up. That might be the most fun of all. We've also gotten several mailings from the state of Texas that direct us to their local haunts and highlights. Where's the best barbeque? The best bluebonnet show? The best bird watching? (I might have to pay Don to do that last one with me.) Heck, we may even have a picnic by a pond and scoop up tadpoles to bring home for our grandkids to watch.

It's supposed to be sunny and in the 60's. Way too pretty to be inside working. Summer will be here before you know it, so if you have kids, check out the book. It's new for $29.00 or you can snatch up one of 29 copies for a PENNY. Even if you're the (pretty big) kid, go for it! It's been years since I rode in a cab!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you're only here for another week - wow. It's finally happening, eh? I'm thrilled for you. And I know exactly where that microbrewery is on the southside . . . LOVE that place!

Enjoy every moment of your new life!

Becky said...

What a great idea! Just great! I'm glad your daughters are doing it too.

Robin said...

What an awesome idea! Have fun!

Glenda said...

Hope your day was fun! We all need days to let go of all the grown-up "stuff," don't we?

leslie said...

Ahhh, Kid Days. They were fantastic! Why did we have to go and grow up?!?

Glad you and Daddy got to have a fun day in the city!

Thanks for dessert. Love you noodles!

leslie said...
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leslie said...
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Dana~Are We There Yet? said...

As we are exactly in the middle of our childrearing years (oldest is nearly 19, youngest just over 1), retirement seems so far away. Thank you so much for letting me enjoy a taste of it through your adventures! Can't wait!!

Sarah said...

I have your copy, I think! I loved Kid Day, and every year we try to sneak in at least a few in the summer. I have a feeling we'll come spend some Kid Days with Annie Oakley and Wyatt Earp at the lake!