I have not been writing much about my children Amir, 9, and Anissa 10, much because I did not want them to be upset. I remember a tearful Anissa in about the 2nd grade saying, “I do not like when you tell people all my business, Mommy.”
What was I to do? I decided at that point to really consider what and who I was writing about. She was so sensitive at the time and everything was a dramatic life changing experience. Recently, we spoke about it and she asked me why I did not write about her and Amir any more. I told her about the incident in the 2nd grade. She said, “That was a long time ago, Mommy. I am going into the 5th grade. I am older, you can write about us now, I do not mind.”
Whew. I loved writing about their antics. Our two youngest are close to being twins. Our oldest, Gianni, 19, works at Champps and seems to love it. He has some lovely managers. I know my friends are tired of eating there but it amazes me to see my son working so hard. When you go in say hello. I always think to myself, “He never worked that hard at home.”
My children are hilarious and really feel comfortable harassing each other much to my chagrin! Amir will stand in front of the television and not move, which will send Anissa into “Super Sister” mode. He just wants to play video games. She wants to watch iCarly. Video games and iCarly? Really, you two are about to start World War III over the television. I was done with the arguing about television domination.
I had to start sending them outside to play. That did not work well for them at first. Anissa sat on the front porch and Amir bounced a ball but they were not playing together. For about a week, I let them play by themselves.
One day after arriving home from an appointment, I decided that I had to do something! I went to the toy box and found a jump rope. Yes, a good old jump rope. I was still dressed in office attire and told them that we were going to do something different today.
I took off my high heels and began to jump rope. I could feel the wind in my hair and my pearls hitting my chin and prayed that I would not hurt myself. I was gaining confidence as their mouths hung open and I surpassed 50 jumps. My breathing became labored and I decided that if I go slow I would have a better chance of reaching 100. My children watched in amazement as I jumped to 126. They had the “wow, I did not think an old person could jump that long” look on their faces. I was winded and half crazed from the adrenaline rush. However, I had a smug look on my face and held out the rope to my little competitors. They argued over the rope and finally Amir took the rope and began to jump and soon after Anissa did the same. Neither one of them beat my high score that day and I had taught them and myself a lesson.
It was my responsibility to teach them to play together and to use what they already have in the toy box. Toys should be made to have a good time outdoors too but it may be up to us to encourage their use. After that incident, I had no problem with getting them outdoors.
I remember when we used clothesline rope to jump double dutch or single rope when I was younger. My children do not know anything about double dutch. In New York City for a time double dutch was all the rage. Now video games are all the rage and we wonder why there is childhood obesity. It is not just about competitive sports either. It is about getting out there and trying something new or rediscovering something old.
P.S. We are not finish celebrating our 10 year Anniversary! So be on the look out for another event.
This was printed in the August 14, 2011 - August 27, 2011 Edition