Yesterday was my younger daughter, Hannah’s, birthday. She had spent the previous week with my in-laws and we went last night to pick her up, take her presents and have dinner/cake with them. Many of the presents she knew she was getting. Right after Christmas this year, she decided she really wanted a Wii. Being the “bad” (read that “good”) parents we are, we refused to just buy one. Hannah has done odd jobs, put gift money and search for coins to save for one. Greg finally gave her a can of coins he had been collecting to help her get it. (Shhhhh we wanted one too). Greg’s mom and dad said they would give her money to offset the cost so she could get the games she wanted as well. She also got a backpack she wanted for school next year – she picked it out.
I had picked up a couple of little things from Scholastic Books using my teacher’s points (thanks to everyone who ordered this year) that I thought she might enjoy. But the were inexpensive to start with, and nothing fantastic (or so I thought). The first gift was a piece of glow-in-the-dark string with instructions for Cat’s Cradle games. She SQUEALED and called me the AWESOMEST mom. The next, was a book of origami papers and instructions for making “Scari-gami” (think ghosts, bats etc). Double SQUEAL and “You are the AWESOMEST MEST MOM”. Go figure – it is just like when she was a toddler and was more interested in the boxes than what came in them.
It is so hard to remember as a parent, but really want our children enjoy and need are ways to be children. Simple, yes maybe even old-fashioned, games are still fun and interesting. So, even though we are going to have a lot of fun as a family with the Wii (and I’m waiting for her to get bored so I can try the WiiFit), keep in mind that running through the hose, drawing with sidewalk chalk, taking a listening walk, or blowing bubbles will entertain and delight children as much (or maybe more) than all the expensive toys we can buy.