We knew that our two bedroom town house, with a small deck for a back yard and a parking lot for the front, would become too small for our family when E could really move. And so it has come to pass. Our house and yard are too small. I’ve read articles about people living in miniature houses, ones no bigger than a flat bed trailer, with kids and all. Bless their hearts, and I pray they have a huge expanse of land and good weather to go with it. Thankfully we are moving to VA next month to a four bedroom house with a fenced in backyard and a playground within walking distance.
Kids Need to Move.
I’ve known this for years in theory through my experience as a teacher. Movement is essential for brain growth, creating neural pathways for current and future learning that would otherwise not form. Regular exercise helps to create long lasting healthy habits, and is beneficial for good sleep and proper brain and body function in general. A classroom full of pent up young children, though Dante forgot to make note of it, is most definitely one of the Seven Rings of Hell. We are meant to move.
After having a 20 month old in a small space with limited opportunities to really play physically this truth became abundantly clear, leaving me a frazzled mom and E an unhappy tot.
I never thought of the house I grew up in as anything all that special. Yes, my father built it, and it happens to be on the Cape, a lovely place to spend some time. And, dear Olivia, it also happens to be on nearly an acre of land that has a fenced in area with lawns and kid sized hills, quiet dirt roads to explore, and stairs and trees aplenty. It is a little piece of heaven.
My father built the house when I was around a year old. When I was around five my mom and I, along with my forever friend Maria (no, seriously, we’ve been friends since, well, forever) planted a maple tree, which continues to stand today.
Our weekend of free outdoor play was wonderful. What could make it even better? This.
This is a picture of my mom gardening, for the first time in 2 years. In January she underwent major back surgery. When I say major I mean her world renowned spinal surgeon wants her to speak at symposiums. MAJOR. Not only can she now enjoy life again (though there is still much healing to do) she can also play with E and her other grandchildren. This was a very special weekend. Though I admit that I am testy with my mother, the same as E is with me, and the same that she will most likely be with me throughout my days. And so it goes, the circle of life. And mother-daughter bitchiness.
In closing, if I ever find myself in this situation again, a small house with a small yard and a small child, I will no longer have “do I like to spend time with them” as my criteria for mom friends, but rather “how big is their yard and do they have a swing set”. I can make small talk.