I am grateful.

 

For the simple joys of summer.

And that is – watching my boys explore our back alley.

Amongst all the amazing things we did this summer – vacations, trips, playgrounds, family visits, water fun – we found that pure and simple summer fun in something unexpected, unplanned and free – our back alley.

My kids were picking raspberries, climbing trees for apples, biking for hours on end, splashing in puddles and playing with rocks and sticks.  We got to know our neighbours and found secret passages from one alley to the other.  If we got too hot we’d splash water on our heads and keep going.  Kids would come home covered in berry juice, with wet hair, shirt free and dusty – and oh so happy.  And most importantly with a happy mama.

Why , do you ask, I feel this is important enough to share with all you guys?

Here is why.

It wasn’t always that way!

For a long time I would go out to the back to supervise the little humans of mine and work myself up to a nervous, anxious, snappy mom.  I was so exhausted of thinking of what could go wrong.

The back alley is technically a road after-all.  So as a responsible mom I would anticipate all that can happen to a boy on a road.
A car hitting a boy on the bike.
One of the boys biking too far and turning a corner where I can’t see them.
Two boys getting hurt at the same time and me being torn between which one to run to first (which actually happens regularly).
Constantly thinking about all the horrible accidents that could happen to my boys.  It was exhausting!

One day I was so tired of my own constant head turning (to check for cars) that I decided to see how long it takes before the next car drives down the alley.  To my amazement it was over and hour and a half until we saw any car at all.  For that entire time we had the back alley all to ourselves and not a single car to bother us!

Everything changed for me at that moment.  I brought my attention to the facts and realized that the back alley is not as dangerous as I was making it out in my mind.  It simply wasn’t.  And even when the car drives down the back alley – it is going very slowly.  So why get so worried?

No longer was I obsessing about what could happen.  I was so grateful to have such an amazing extension to our backyard.  Full of puddles, biking space and berries.  What more can a boy (and a boys mom) ask for.

Sometimes my worries are so far removed from reality that they make my life a little bit worse!  Shocker, I know, but I learned that the hard way.

I am so proud of myself for taking that leap and trying to imagine myself – in the back alley and relaxed.  Still on guard and ready to come to aid but relaxed and enjoying one of my favourite activities of summer!

What is your ‘back alley’ which you enjoy but know you would enjoy a lot more if you dropped the unnecessary worry?

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