Gone are the days of summer, I knew as a kid.
We would scamper out of the house right after a quick bowl of Rice Krispies in the morning, and we would work our way home when the street lights came on at night.
Lunch and dinner would typically occur at the house with the best food on that particular day.
There are days I wish my kids could experience the childhood I had – unplugged and free.
This past week I watched my children become so excited over a project – they would come home long enough to grab the items they needed – and then they would be off again, only to come home when they absolutely needed to.
They were unplugged and outside. I never really asked, nor did I care what they were doing.
I was too busy relishing in the glimpse of what a childhood should be.
On Tuesday morning my boys woke me up, extremely excited to show me their project. We loaded the car, drove to the church, and entered a small wooded area that my boys claimed as their own.
What I entered into was an incredible survival camp that they designed – complete with a camouflaged tarp tent and their own spray painted totem.
Finally, my kids understood what summer is truly all about.
We spent the next couple hours playing in the woods, climbing trees, and skipping rocks in the stream.
And as wonderful as this moment was, I carried the reality that this wouldn’t last for long. Surely someone would venture onto their oasis and strip them of their pride.
Yesterday, my kids went to their camp and it was completely torn apart. The tent was gone and their totem was split in two.
To make matters worse, my children were approached by a man who informed them that the police were called due to “suspicious activity.”
That’s right; the actions of three boys, enjoying an innocent summer project became suspicious.
How sad is it that our children can no longer enjoy their childhood in a way that is safe, fun and free.
It broke my heart watching my children learn these tough life lessons:
- There will always be someone who will be jealous of your happiness.
- There will always be someone who will question your motives.
- There will always be someone who will try to break you.
Here’s the real life lessons, my sons:
- If someone tears you down, build yourself up even stronger.
- Guard yourself from the negative energy around you. Learn from it and constantly remind yourself that you are better than that.
- Continue to shine your light – it will eventually outweigh the darkness.
The real 911 emergency is that we are raising a generation of kids who will never know what it truly feels like to be free.
What a huge injustice to our children.
Now if you’ll excuse me – we have a survival camp to rebuild.