Friday, January 16, 2015

Simple Susan

Raising our children in the happy yellow beach bungalow only five houses from the beach has such sweet memories. Due to the proximity to what I called our “sandbox” we made many trips to the beach on foot.  Yes, it was best when they were small and I would pull the Radio red flyer wagon, laden with a picnic basket with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and juice boxes.  Of course there would be sand buckets and shovels, rafts and towels.
(Google Search)

Yes, it was dreamy and gave us good memories, but I am forever grateful when I heard my best friend recount her growing up years as the baby of five children.  Catie recalled her mom taking them to the shore of New Jersey. Catie said her mom (Susan) would take her and the four siblings to the beach and they would each be given a towel if they wanted one.  Susan would allow them to take buckets, sand toys, and buggy boards if they liked.  They could take snacks and drinks too.  The catch was this; they had to be responsible for their own things.  If they wanted something, they had to carry it down the to shore themselves and bring it back themselves.

This story had many teaching points for me.  The obvious, that our children learn to be responsible for their own things.  It was a growing moment for Catie and her siblings to evaluate what was important to them.  Another point I observed was it is wise as a parent to let go of trying to do it all.  There are other nuances to this story Catie recounted to me, but to me the paramount point is the need for simplicity.

I have struggled throughout my parenting of making situations difficult.  Even pulling our children and all our things in the red flyer, did I mention I was carrying beach chairs too?  Did I mention that although only five houses from the beach there was a final plunge at the end of the street that would take us to sea level? (Translated at the end of our time at the beach, I would have to pull all the children and their wet tired sandy selves, all the aforementioned items and beach chairs up that hill?)

No, I’m not complaining, I’m only painting the picture of a mom who may have brought the neighbors to their picture windows to watch me haul all my stuff back from the beach.  In retrospect, I’m sure I looked like a pack mule coming back from Petra.
(Google Image)

Moms, lets keep life simple!  Yes, go to the beach.  Meet friends at the park. Treat yourself to Starbucks.  But don’t overthink it; don’t worry about a check-list to go.  If it isn’t in your diaper bag (or under a car seat) stop at Target or just head back home.  I don’t think the Lord meant our lives to be so complicated or structured.  Remember He placed Adam and Eve in a Garden and it was very good!  
(Matthew 11:30 - Google Image)


  1. Love it Joannie! KISS-Keep It Simple Sister! Love you Joannie!! Dina and Crew.

  2. LOVE you and each of your 5 (plus B )and love the way you parent! You know you are a personal fav! KISS back to you and yours!