Let the good times roll!

I love my son, but this week his grandparents have taken him and his cousin on a week-long vacation. Freedom!

Well, except for the dog.

Still, if you have kids then you know what I mean. I will not have to wake up to an alarm, pack a lunch for camp, leave the house unless I want to or be on any type of schedule. It won’t change what I do with my free time, really. There will just be more of it, and that is really exciting!

I am very fortunate to have the in-laws I have. They are wonderful grandparents, and they provide adventurous opportunities for my son and his cousin. They are good people for many other reasons, as well.

I look forward to hearing my son’s voice on the phone, telling me all about what a great time he is having, and seeing tons of pictures along the way. I wish them safe travels and fun times!

Freedom to Choose

Being a parent requires me to teach the art of decision-making to a child who begins with absolutely no experience. It is difficult to hold back and let him make some of his own decisions, but I know I must. Early on, I read in some parenting book or other that it is wise to give your child only two choices. Both must be acceptable choices, but you may let your child choose between them. This was a lifesaver. As my son gets older, I have had to expand my thinking about how he should learn to make decisions.

As soon as he was old enough, we gave our son the option to play a sport of his choice during each season. This lead to finding out about other opportunities, other classes and activities in our area. When he expressed interest in something, we encouraged him to try it out. We began to get annoyed, however, when he would do something for a couple of weeks or months and then no longer want to participate. We would spend good money on all the necessary equipment and class registrations, as well as change our entire schedule to include this new activity. My husband and I went around and around about whether or not he should be “allowed” to quit. I believe there are strong arguments either way, but here’s how I’m starting to look at it:

Why should a young child be asked to commit to anything when he hasn’t yet experienced enough things to know what he truly enjoys? I want his heart to sing when he finds his “thing”. I do not want to put him in a box, forcing him to commit his childhood to something he does not enjoy. I want him to reflect on his life when he gets older and know that his father and I allowed him to make his own choices and find his own interests and hobbies. I want him to know that we encouraged him to be who he truly IS, not who we thought he should be. I want to know that when he does choose to commit to something it is because it feeds his soul. Until he finds what he’s looking for, I will allow him to try, and to quit, as many things as he chooses.

via Daily Prompt: Commit

Staying Put

In the last 14 years, my husband and I have lived in at least 10 different houses in three different states. We are not military, but we do move because of his job. For the first 10 ten years, I felt like we were on a never-ending adventure. I enjoyed looking for the next best floor plan, walking path, commute time and nearby amenities. I enjoyed seeing my belongings set up in different ways, creating a new vibe with the same things.

When we found out I was pregnant with our first (and only) child, we decided it was time to get back to our roots. Both my husband and I grew up knowing and spending time with our grandparents and other family members, and we wanted to give our son the same connection with his. Thankfully, my husband was able to begin working at home, making it very convenient to live where we pleased.

After realizing that we’d been living within a 20 mile radius of the same state for 4 years, we figured it was time to buy instead of renting. A year into living in our purchased home, I began feeling antsy, wanting to start packing and heading to the next house. I panicked when I realized that wouldn’t be happening. We owned this home. It was in our best interest to stay in this home until we’d built up enough equity to move on to the next.

It took three years of living in this house to finally decide I was ready to stay put. I am relived that I do not have to pack up and move every year. We have worked hard to decorate and set this house up, and we have reached the point where we don’t need anything else. We can now focus on the experiences we can provide for our son, knowing that our “home base” will be waiting for us to return. Our safe place. Ours.

For me, four years is a long time to remain in the same city, much less the same house. Even before I was married, my family moved a lot. What has been your experience with moving? How long have you stayed in the same city or same house?

via Daily Prompt: Relieved