Thursday, April 24, 2014

Freedom to Fly

So I hate to admit it but I have a little (or a lot depending on who you ask) problem of wanting to control things. I like predictability, routine, structure. Being a parent to two boys can make that a challenge, because boys are anything but predictable! I hate to say that often I get in their way of being kids. Take for example the other day as we sat to eat dinner the boys noticed a blue jay out our dining room window. 
We don't see a ton of blue jays in Anchorage. It was a wonderful reminder that spring was surely here. Spring:-what Alaskans long for as we wait for the last bit of seven months of snow to give us a brief reprieve. Well eating dinner was no longer a priorit, there was a bird to play with! "B" was especially adamant that he needed to go get that bird. Mind you he had not eaten anything and was half naked, but this was a matter of emergency. "A" was also brimming with excitement but was stifling it so he could appear to be the older, more mature child. The whole time I of course am being sensible, smart, structured....CONTROLLING. 

"You need to eat your dinner."- "You don't have clothes on."- "You will get cold."- "It is dirty."- "It is too late to go out and play."-"Leave the bird alone."- "It's not like you are going to catch it." blah blah blah...
Luckily, this is ONE time as a mom where I caught myself. I reflected on how it felt to chase birds when I was a child. I remember the joy and exhilaration knowing I couldn't catch them, but trying none-the-less. I wanted to fly just like them. As a child I certainly had the energy and audacity to fly, if God had just given me wings. Why was I stifling that experience for my boys? I realize how much I was clipping their wings as I held them back from these moments of wonder and exploration. Would the 5 minutes away from dinner running around in the cold yard do any damage in the long run? No, but not allowing them the "freedom to fly"  definitely would.
Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Just what we as a family need from time-to-time.
To remind myself of this moment and to try to be more conscious of letting my boys be kids I had them make some bird treats. Invite  the birds to come and next time my kids will be ready to play with them.
Perfect activity as we celebrate Earth Day. 
Take toilet paper tubes and spread with peanut butter. Make sure to punch holes first!
Roll in bird seed or cracked corn. I found a small bag for about $2.50 at Fred Meyers in the pet area.
We also found old bird houses we had painted about a year ago and hung those as well. They were found at Michaels in the $1 bin. I didn't treat it for the weather, which in hindsight I probably should have. 
So we are ready for the birds and I have  reminder out my dining room window that I want children that desire to fly, not be tethered down by the trappings of this life. 


  1. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and let kids be kids -- something I always have to work at too ;) Thanks for linking up at After School!

  2. Controlling moms unite! I can totally relate - but you're SO right, sometimes that unstructured moment of play or exploration is just as magical as the planned activities. Great post, Sarah!