A little late perhaps, but here it is. Back in August, while we were in Marathon, we were parked at a slip over from a powerboat with a family; Grandpa, his daughter and mom to son, Stuart, age 11 and his little sister, Raine, age 9.
We would get a knock on the side of the boat at 9 am, on the dot and it was Raine, wondering if the boys could come outside and play. All the kids played together for a month straight, almost every single day. They climbed trees, played hide and go seek, made tree forts, played Lego, rode their scooters and bikes and generally had a great time together. We didn’t do much homeschool that month even though I vowed to get back on track after Cuba. The boys hadn’t had playmates in a while and it was important for them to play with other kids their own age. They had a blast!
It was interesting that after awhile their playing took on a rhythm. At 9:oo when we received the summoning knock from Raine, all the boys would scatter to get dressed, ready for the day and shoes on. Then they would all go outside and play. After about an hour and half, they would all come back to the boat, hot, thirsty, hungry and ready to do something cool inside. So after snacks and water, they would play Lego on our boat. After about 45 minutes someone would say, let’s go back outside and everyone would agree and out they would go again until lunchtime. The same kind of thing in the afternoon, outside play, then come inside to cool off and rehydrate and then back outside until suppertime. Often we would take the whole kit and caboodle to the marina pool for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
The only downside of all those extra kids was that at one point, I was feeding six kids snacks twice a day (we added to our number with a little boy named William)! Those kids were eating us out of boat and home! We had to insist on a few potluck snack times and then I just started sending the others away for food times. We were flying through too many granola bars, carrots and apples! But a little food is a small price to pay for friendship and playmates.
Friends are important for adults and for kids too.