Enjoying life just because….
I was driving my 11-year-old home from school the other day when she asked if I would let her out so she could run the last four blocks.
It was a cool spring day as she ran to the house, laughing and carefree while I drove alongside her. It was all I could do to choke back the tears as I watched her run, partly because she seemed so happy and partly because I wanted to freeze the moment.
I want her to always feel free to run… just because she wants to and just because she can and just because it feels good.
I can’t remember the last time I did something ‘just because.” When she was smaller, she liked to stand on her head — just because. My older daughter liked to run in the rain with no umbrella and jump in puddles — just because (that’s over now).
Watching the 11-year-old run made me think how much fun it’d be to have a “Just Because Day.” A day to do things for no apparent reason. We spend so much time doing stuff because we need to do it and have to do it. But wouldn’t it be fun to do something just because? Maybe every now and then parents should let kids have “just because” days. We know that childhood is fleeting and there never seems to be enough time to do the fun stuff. Sometimes we’re so busy exposing kids to this sport and that experience or that hobby, they don’t get to run around for no other reason than they can.
In fact, it wouldn’t hurt parents to create some “just because” time. On my day, I think I’d: Lay in bed and watch Lifetime TV; stay in my pajamas all day; eat hot apple pie and ice cream for breakfast; snuggle with my husband; take a nap; walk through my neighborhood; go on a picnic with my family.
What would you do?
– Vanessa W. Snyder is a writer, National Board-certified teacher and mother of two daughters in Washington, D.C. The author of a new novel, “The Second First Lady,” and co-author of titles in the “50 Ways to Christ” series, she can be reached at email@example.com.