Let’s Play!

Earlier this month I received a backpack filled with toys from Imagine Toys. I hadn’t told the kids because my idea of fun doesn’t include being asked where is it, where is it, where is it, multiple times a day. This is why I don’t do road trips. Once someone asks if we’re there yet, I’m ready to pull over wherever we are and declare yes, this is it; we’re here, this stretch of highway was our destination all along.

The box came and there were squeals of delight. I was afraid that because the toys were basic, my kids’ excitement would wane quickly. Thankfully, I was disappointed. A Frisbee. A jump rope. A ball. Sidewalk chalk. Basic is still good and I’m grateful that my kids weren’t jerks about it. They immediately wanted to go outside. My 11-year-old was excited about the rope. The 4-year-old couldn’t contain himself over the Frisbee, except it reignited his desire for a puppy because a puppy is needed to properly catch a Frisbee. We are not getting a puppy. I’ll catch the Frisbee. No, I’m not going to bark.

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We’ve had a pretty mild summer. It’s been humid, but not too hot. Just a handful of 90 degree days, for which I’m thankful since we don’t have central air. Your condolences are appreciated. Every day since the toys arrived the kids have played with at least two, usually the ball and the Frisbee. It’s nice to see them gadgetless. Now that school has started, we have less time in the evenings to play outside, but a few days last week we were able to. There’s no screen time allowed during the week when school is in session, so this was a nice distraction. And I’m glad to be reminded that basic toys are still toys to be played with, and throwing and running for a Frisbee is exhilarating and fun (especially if you’re willing to bark like a puppy while doing it).

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Imagine Toys wants kids to go “out and play.” Everything in that backpack contributed to my kids doing just that. It reminded me that being outside can be fun in itself. Nothing has to be fancy. We can make up games to play with that ball that last hours. We can get tired from chasing a flying disc. And we can perfect our puppy sounding skills. You never know when those’ll come in handy.

More about KaBOOM!: KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. They’ve partnered with imagine toys to bring you the Go Out and Play Collection, which aims to get families outside and give kids the balance of active play that they need to thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has has mapped over 100,000 places to play, built more than 2,400 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. A percentage of each purchase from the Go Out and Play Collection goes back to KaBOOM! For more information, visit KaBOOM.org.

I received a KaBOOM essentials kit for review. All opinions and complaints about the Texas heat are my own.

Finding All of the Lost Toys on Mamalode

I’m featured on Mamalode today with a post I wrote about adventure with my son. He’s 4. The adventure is nothing more than our looking, together, for his randomly misplaced toys, but I actually enjoy it. Unfortunately, I think I get a little more involved than he does. I’m looking for the toy long after he’s deemed it lost forever and ever amen.

You have ou sincere appreciation for visiting Mamalode and reading about our searches. You are singlehandedly keeping him from making this face. Thank you. Because that face makes me want to give him all the replacement toys.

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Some of My Exes are Women – Presenting the Next #HerStories Project

We talk so often about breakups, but rarely do we discuss the breakups we experience from friends, whether we leave the friendship or are kicked aside. I have a group of women friends without whom I would be utterly lost. I can’t take all the inane crap that runs through my head to my husband. I need them. Losing one of them would be like a romantic relationship breakup, whether that sounds weird to you or not.

I share my life, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, with these women. To no longer have that person, to no longer be able to be there for that person, is hard to imagine. And yet, it happens, for various reasons. Kids, husbands, moving. Relationships change. People change. Friendships evolve. Sometimes, unfortunately, the evolution is only one-sided and one friend decides the friendship is no longer worth the effort. It hurts.

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I’ve lost and left friends for various reasons. There was the time a friend thought I didn’t want to repay her a small loan. There was the time a friend refused to repay me a small loan. There was the time I wasn’t being a good enough friend. There was the time a friend I spent every day with went underground after high school without a word and didn’t resurface until two years ago. The HerStories Project presents in September My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. I’m proud to say I’m included in this anthology with a piece about losing a friendship and having no choice in the matter. Ties were severed, burned, stepped on, shredded, then littered into a landfill of friendship resumption impossibility.

The book is available for pre-sale now. It is filled with heartfelt, exploratory, and funny tales of friendship loss between women. Order it. You won’t be sorry. My piece, especially, isn’t typical. Shocking, I know.