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Hi Alison, Brilliant article, so evocative! I think you are definitely not lazy but rather have put a lot of thought into your philosophy of parenting, not to mention your garden, and I'm sure also a lot of effort in the laundry (unless your children have a different relationship with mud and food dye to my two little monkeys)! I had to laugh the other day when I was lamenting to myself how difficult it was to remove grass stains from pants and realised I sounded like a washing powder ad! It's been pouring with rain here and tomorrow I'll open the door, ask them to go out and pick me some herbs or flowers, and see what happens. Thank you for the inspiration!
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Oh for the good old days when I was young. We'd get up and throw on our bathing suits on the hot days and shorts and tees for the cooler days. Spent the days roaming through the fields and the sand hill. Ran down to the river to wash up before bed. Came in only for food and bed time. TV was for extreme weather only - books and comics were our choice of quiet entertainment. My only wish is that my children could have spent their summers the same way.

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We, and our neighborhood friends spent all summer, weekends and holidays playing outside. I grew up in the Bay area and it was about 1/2 mile to the dike so we could ride our bikes to coyote point park. Our parents never worried about us. TV was maybe 2 hours of cartoons on Saturday morning and afternoon dinner until an early bedtime. No staying up until 11. We also read, a habit I still have. Compulsion might be a better term for that.

I got a fish hook caught in my finger at the marina up there and the guy in charge of the marina tried getting it out with no luck. My mom thanked him when she came to get me. Can you imagine something like that happening today? They'd be too scared of the lawsuit or, even worse accusations. I have a terrific step-daughter who takes our grandchildren camping during the summer and they play outside. Thank goodness for rural living.


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