Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I admit that my kids don't get out as often as they should. As a mother of 4 boys, that means subjecting myself to a bunch of crazed kids bouncing off the walls and screaming as if each was separated from the other by a mile-long chasm.

So I finally decided to change up recess (actually, I decided to GIVE them recess, THEN I changed it up) and go old school. Nope, I didn't play an "80s mix tape". Instead, I grabbed some chalk, an all-purpose rubber ball, and took my two oldest boys outside.

They stood in wonder as I drew a really big square on the driveway and divided it into 4 equal squares. They looked at me as if I was some kind of alien when I declared "Let's play!" It only took a few times with the ball whizzing past for them to understand what they had to do to win - actually, to NOT LOSE against their mother. And despite an unmanned square, we had enough stamina to play for an entire hour.

It was 60 minutes of attacking, defending, and strategizing. It was also 3600 seconds of gloating, pouting, screaming and laughing. I was taken back to the kind of playground fun I had 30 years ago (ahem, yes 30 years). But this time, instead of being intimidated by my opponents, I was relishing each and every move. This game, which required no controllers, no batteries, and no screen, was proving to be a really enjoyable time for all of us. Even Jonah expressed his surprise when he said, "They actually invented this fun game BEFORE you were young??"

Now I don't recall being this sore after playing four square. But I suppose it's worth it, seeing as I've still got my "square skillz" and, now, two very special people to play with. Perhaps in the days to come we'll spend recess playing more of the old school stuff like handball or Chinese jump rope. Or, if I'm really sore, maybe recess will simply involve popping in that 80s mix tape and listening to songs - together.