The Accountant's Garden

Scheduled non-accounting weeks: April 10-14, 2017 June 12-16, 2017 July 24-28, 2017

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Uncovering the Secret of Summer

As soon as school lets out, now that I have school-aged kids, I am reminded of some of the best times of my life, at my grandparents' farm. It wasn't that I went to a place where I was doted on, or taken to every amusement available. In fact, I don't think there was a whole lot to do out where they lived. But I was happy, with just Grammy & Paba, PBS, a garden, an orchard, and sometimes a dog or a friend.

Most of my time was spent in imaginative play: playing pretend in the garden, making mud pies, having adventures in the irrigation water, or playing dress-up in the spare room. I played with my mother's and uncle's old toys: a viewmaster, cowboys and indians, marbles and jacks. I made chalk driving courses for my matchbox cars. I created school lessons for my stuffed animals and sewed clothes for my collection of ponies. Once a week, I accompanied my grandparents in to "town" where they did their grocery shopping and perhaps a visit to the drug store. (If we visited Thrify Drugs, there was a good chance I would get a 10-cent ice cream cone!) Every day, my grandfather drove down the road to get the paper and check the post office box in "the village" and when it was open, he would take Grammy and me to the local branch of the county library, which was probably only open one day a week.

Looking at my own children, I think I've done the exact opposite. When they aren't in school, they are scheduled for camps and activities, and when those fail, we are off to the zoo, the science museum, or any other number of attractions available to us in our urban area. I wonder if I do a disservice to them by making these things "routine".  I think it's time for them to learn to expect an ordinary day, and that ordinary need not be anything especially interesting.

Not that I don't want them to experience the awe of visiting National Monument or the beauty of great works of art. I remember very clearly all the trips my mom and I made to see National Parks and Landmarks across the U.S. and our visits to large museums in San Francisco and Los Angeles. But I was thinking, if those types of visits are routine, the magical quality may be lost in them, and therefore, the memories may not be as strong.

I think I can pull this off. And I do know that if we go absolutely stir crazy, we have many, many beautiful parks and playgrounds within 10 miles that are free and provide hours upon hours of entertainment.


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