First, thanks for all the wonderful comments. It is never easy to share something that you aren’t proud of, but having hands go up immediately as people rapidly tap their feet and squeal, “Ooh, ooh, me too. Me too!” certainly makes it easier. All that said, please understand, I am not beating myself up about a bit of moodiness. I was just taking the opportunity to own up to something that I figured was actually pretty common. Alls well that ends well, no?
On to the next thing…I was just checking my email and in one of the 6 or 7 headlines that Yahoo feeds me, I had something catch my eye and then light my Mama-fire.
We are killing our children. I’ll go ahead and let you know, the link is about the calorie count in “kids meals” at national chains. I am too angry right now to share a well thought out opinion on the state of children’s fitness in our country. I can say this, one of my favorite pictures from my childhood is one of me running across a gymnasium, my classmates in front, behind and alongside me. Our arms are in various positions of pumping, our legs bent, feet digging for the next stride. Our faces are alive; joyous and determined. This photo, which my mom had beautifully framed, sits on Sean’s desk.
The thing that makes me angriest about what is happening to kids now is that they do not know this joy. I used to wait, squirming in my seat, for P.E. I would get so excited at the prospect of running, of shouting to my classmates and participating wholeheartedly in whatever activity our teacher, Mrs. Bendix (don’t even get me started on the fun we had with that name), had planned. My proudest moment was the day I finally made it all the way up the rope and pounded the index card with my name onto the ceiling. Triumph.
There is no triumph now. Kids don’t get the chance to love physical activity. They are either not exposed to it, or by the time they are there is already a burden they carry, excess weight holding them back, the provenance of which can be directly traced to their parents’ poor choices.
Can we all just work a little harder at giving them a fair shot? Can we sit down at the dinner table together? Can we walk to the park? Can we start giving a shit? We are talking about their whole lives, it starts now. Be fair.