What fuels your kids? The things that they love fuel my girls. These days that seems to be everything outdoors; running, jumping, dancing, riding bikes, riding scooters and being with friends. They are really embracing being kids. I love it. Lately, I have felt like I was living in a Throwback Thursday in my John Hughes-esque neighborhood. Our girls, who I used to hover and swarm around to make sure they didn’t break a sweat let alone anything else have begun to explore their space. I am trying my best to be a little more free range and a little less hypochondriac, hoverer. I am trying to stop white-knuckling the parenting reins (just a little bit).
It’s been happening really organically. There was no push the baby birds out of the nest this spring. No, as the Big Guy and I have been doing yard work prepping for our spring projects we have allowed the girls to ride their scooters on our back paths (semi supervised. Translation, I am watching but not running after their scooters). They don’t go out of range of my eyesight but they enjoy the freedom and independence. They look out for one another. I can see the bonding happening. Sisters rule. Watching them riding side by side on their scooters, looking up through the trees, with the shadows playing on their faces gives me great pleasure (even though the thought of one of them falling and hurting themselves makes my stomach knot up).
And now, just like I did (way back in the late 70’s and early 80’s) they are making friends and having spontaneous play. Not “play dates” because that implies scheduling. I am not scheduling anything this summer. We are going old school because, honestly, I think old school is better for my girls. So for the past three weekends, we go outside on Saturday morning and the girls get on their scooters or bikes and ride down three houses to the back of our cul de sac (we don’t have alleys here, we have a nature walking path that runs through our neighborhood and winds around the golf course) where they find their two little friends, sisters who go to the same school and are the same age, and the four of them scooter back to my yard where they jump on trampolines, play hopscotch, play in their clubhouse (a repurposed shed with carpet and toys and seating) or they play kickball or some other activity that actually keeps them active and I LOVE IT!
I know it is bold parenting on my part. Letting my kids play outside with bugs and all the hazards that come with not being able to control every element of the environment. I mean, my GOD, what if a bird shits on them or someone falls and skins a knee? By the way, we’ve survived both this spring with laughter and Neosporin.
This summer there will be reading in homemade whimsical A-frame tents and outdoor sleepovers (oh yes, those will be with a hovering adult present), magical fairy gardens to be made and lightening bugs to be caught in jars (with holes of course, what are we animals?). Outdoor movies under the stars with neighborhood friends, bonfires with s’mores and days spent playing in the pool. Childhood memories will be made. So how will I fuel all of this fun? Lots of fresh fruit and veggies and lean protein (and the occasional hotdog and homemade ice cream ..again, what are we animals?) and hopefully, lots of cold fluids during hot summer days.
In fact, I partnered with Motts to experience their new line of bold new fruit flavors made specifically for kids ages 6-12. Honestly, my kids love them and this is coming from picky girls whose mom actually juices for them. Motts new fruit flavors Fruit Punch Rush (my personal absolute flavor), Wild Grape Surge (Bella’s favorite) and Strawberry BOOM (obviously Gabi’s favorite) are as bold and refreshing as the name suggests. The best thing about Mott’s new line is that they have 40% less sugar than fruit juices, no artificial sweeteners and are 100% of your child’s daily value vitamin C. They are 53% real juice while most other drinks are only 5-10% of real juice and absolutely NO high-fructose corn syrup.
My girls mostly drink water and milk but when they drink juice, I like it to be something that not only tastes good but that I can feel good giving to them to drink because even though I may not hover like I once did, I’m still looking out for their best interest. Let the memories begin.
Disclosure: This is sponsored post written by me in partnership with Motts, all opinions are my own.