Twinning: Iâ€™m Raising My Kids As Laid-Back, Underscheduled Children Of The ’70s And ’80s
Outside, my twins have Big Wheels, sidewalk chalk, pogo sticks and stilts. And although it frustrates me to no end, the simple â€œrope-through-a-boardâ€ swing that my husband made for them gets more play than the expensive fort/swings/monkey bars playset does.
Music was a huge part of my childhood and my husbandâ€™s as well.
My kids have never heard of Justin Bieberâ€”their favorite bands are The Rolling Stones and They Might Be Giants. They love â€œAM Goldâ€ CDs which feature 70â€™s greats like the BeeGees, KC & the Sunshine Band, and the Jackson Five, singing songs that are impossible not to dance to. The scope of my childrenâ€™s music knowledge is pretty fantastic.They can recognize almost any Beatles song, and they can sing along with kid-friendly Bon Jovi, Journey and Guns Nâ€™ Roses too. I like a lot of current music thatâ€™s out there, but I have to censor so much of it. Itâ€™s easier just to pop an AM Gold in the car stereo and not worry about it.
One of the best things about growing up in the 70â€™s and 80â€™s was the laid-back pace. The â€œoverscheduled childâ€ problem we see today just didnâ€™t exist. My mother wasnâ€™t constantly driving us from one class to the nextâ€”the most we did outside of school was baseball, softball and one musical instrument each. Summer vacations stretched out before us with only a week or two dedicated to a trip or vacation.
When my twins turned three and all my friends were putting their 3-year-olds in summer camps, they were near-horrified to hear that I wasnâ€™t doing the same. â€œWhat will you do all day? Youâ€™ll go crazy!â€ they warned. But when I was little, I never went to camp and I loved every minute of summer. Most days were spent just riding bikes, swimming and playing sports, or reading on a blanket in the sun. And thatâ€™s what my kids do nowâ€”we spend the summer together, hanging out and having an underscheduled blast. They love being home, and I love having them home.
My kids have the best of what I had in the 70â€™s and 80â€™s, with the best of what I can give them today. While I feel like Iâ€™m doing a good job as a parent, it also doesnâ€™t hurt that I get to be a kid again, and relive all the fun of my childhood through themâ€”this time without the plaid pantsuits.