Parenting - Just Go Have Fun – StrapsAway™

Parenting - Just Go Have Fun

While driving out to the mountains with my kids today, memories of my childhood were flooding to my mind.

I sailed and swam in the ocean, jumped off cliffs, tubed through rapids, hiked through forests, and canoed to deserted islands to camp.

I picked all the plums, pears, raspberries and blackberries my bucket and belly could carry, picked oysters for dinner right off the beach, made giant sand castles, and swam at the swimming hole.

On summer evenings we gathered around fires roasting hot dogs and had kelp whipping fights while cruise ships floated between the islands behind us. Or ate giant ice cream cones on the pier with a pod of killer whales passing right beneath my feet (ya, that happened).

Then there was that time when I was 16 that my older sister and I hitchhiked across two islands, and found ourselves walking through a nude beach.

I could go on.

But what struck me most while reminiscing, was that my family didn't have money. Like, 9 kids on one college instructor's income, didn't have money.

These memories aren't Instagram perfect. In my opinion, the best childhoods aren't.

That sailboat we explored the coast of Vancouver Island in every summer, my grandpa rebuilt from mostly salvaged materials. The canoes we paddled to cliffs in, he similarly built. The tubes we crashed through rapids on were the inner tubes from old logging trucks. Even our life jackets were homemade.

We ate squished egg salad sandwiches while we paddled, snacked on margarine containers full of baked goods, and Dad tried to convince us that baby food was the perfect hiking staple.

I was reminded today that we don't need to fly to a destination, or buy top of the line gear to have incredible experiences. We need imagination, willingness, and time. The crappiness of everything we used actually makes it more fun to look back on.

So today, I'm resolved to think less about why we can't do things, or putting it off until the perfect opportunity, and just making it work. Sure, I no longer live on the coast of an island, but there are wonders and experiences waiting to be had here, too.

Start a list of ideas, use imagination, and go have fun.

Perfectly imperfect memories await!

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