Things my kids are getting too old for: the playground. Showing up without making plans at the neighborhood pool. Having fun without worrying if what they’re enjoying might be labeled “babyish.”
My kids are early teens. Babysitting age. The allure of little kid fun is diminishing for them. They crave big kid fun: amusement parks, intimidating roller coasters, swimming in the ocean, late nights.
Our neighbors set up a tightrope strap between two trees and a slip-n-slide on a small hill in their backyard for their young kids. I noticed and suggested to my teens we “just go check it out.” The next thing I knew, my teens were wobbling across the tightrope wearing grins and slipping down the wet slide squealing with the kind of delight they don’t usually get to express among their middle school peers.
It was judgment-free joy—if only for a couple of hours—in a world of trying to fit into the Tetris existence of adolescence.