When Can I Have a Play Date, Mom???
I’m an Old(er) Mom of Young Kids.
Play Dates are a New Concept for Me.
I was a Kid in the 60’s. Living Blissfully in Suburban Long Island. On any Summer Morning, I’d be Up with the Birds. Eat Fruit Loops Cereal. Pop on a Bathing Suit, Shorts and Fly Out the Side Door to Explore the World. My Dearest Friend and Sidekick lived around the Corner. We’d Ride Everywhere Together. To the Library or to Swim in Each Other’s Backyard Pools. It was Just Us, Our Bikes and the Open Road.
One of Our Favorite Adventures was to Pack a Lunch and Ride Over to an Old Graveyard.
It was Forgotten and Overgrown. Never seen by passing cars, but from the seat of a bike, it was easy to spot. We’d park our bikes, carefully open the creaky gate and step into the shade of the Old Oaks. We’d read all the Headstones. Dates were Pre-Revolutionary War. Early 1700’s. Lots of Names like Josiah and Abigail were etched in the Stones. With Peanut Butter sandwiches in Hand, We’d try to figure out how old the person was when they died. We were shaken by the tiny Babies that had died and we felt the sadness of the Parents from so, so long ago.
My dear Friend went on to a 40-Plus Year Career as a Neonatal Nurse. Saving Babies. Spreading Joy and Love. 🙂
Friends and Friendship.
Not So Very Different Today. Except Today for Young Kids, there are Play Dates.
Play Dates May Not Be the “Free to Fly Like the Wind Kind” of Play…
But the End Result is the Same.
Laughing and Learning About Ourselves, Each Other and Our World.
I am Learning that a Play Date of Today Looks Something Like This…Come Join Us for the Fun.
Dress Up from the Wardrobe Cache.
Elsa and Anna with Rapunzel Hair. Perfect.
Heated Princess Monopoly.
Making Chocolate Chip Waffles for Snack.
Mickey Mouse Style.
Cooking is as Much Fun as Eating.
Lots of Chips in these Faces. 🙂
Princess Errands to the Pond Shop. Dressed to the Nines.
To Costco. Basket Riding through the Parking Lot. A Prince Motors the Way.
Crazy, Crazy Costco. Even Crazier in 4 Foot Long Braids.
Stopping for Lunch at Subway.
Cool Subway Kids Meal Prizes.
I Love Them.
Girls and Play Dates and Friendship. Much Like the 60’s.
But Very Today.
Friendship is Magic.
Very cute. I would say play dates nowadays require a lot more involvement from the parents, but those girls are well worth it. fun.
You’re right Mila…lots more parent involvement…I never thought about what my mother was doing when I was out riding like the wind. 🙂
Jeanne, you rock at blogging! I loved reading of your childhood memories with your friend (you were girls with big and fun hearts). Also your daughter’s play date looks like so much fun ♥
Thanks Summer – it was fun…but they were asking when the next play date would be even before this one got started. Silly girls with the whole world in front of them. Warms my heart. 🙂
Looks like a lovely day making lovely memories! How fun!
Kailani – Thanks for stopping by for the adventure.. oh those girls. 🙂
Love your blogs! I have often wondered about the origin of play dates. When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, all my friends were in the same apartment building or next door, so there was no need to be driven by a parent. Not so today. Moms were home and watched their kids and everyone else’s kids. Even my girls, who are now in their late 40s, had friends next door and around the corner. So moments like those above were so easy!
Let me say what joy it brings me to see little girls being little girls, not miniature adults. Dress up, dolls, Monopoly, cookies … and not a cell phone in sight! As a mom and grandma of 7, I love it. Keep up the good parenting and the terrific blogs! Love it!
Thanks for stopping by for the adventure, Suzee!
This is what you do best – we’re OK
Better than ok. Love you.
I am laughing and crying at the same time! Love the picture of the “Old Graveyard.” You are a great mom and I am sure the girls will look back on their childhood with fond memories too.
Love You and Our Friendship…Wish We Could Have Been Moms Together but It’s All Good…Better than Good…It’s The Best! 🙂
Oh and One Other Thing…in doing research for this post, I came across the graveyard and discovered it’s called The Smith Cemetery. It’s historic and owned by the Town and under Ordinance 135-2, it’s illegal to congregate in the cemetery from Sunset to Sunrise and “Any person violating the provisions of § 135-2 shall be guilty of a violation which shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding twenty-five ($25) dollars.” Guess Having Lunch among the Headstones is Still OK if you’re there for Lunch! 🙂
Where on Long Island did you grow up? I grew up in Brightwaters (after we moved from NYC) on the South Shore and I can tell you that our summers were so much fun. But on the play dates. My mother basically kicked the five of us kids out of the house when she started to clean and told us to come back for dinner. We would ride around the neighborhood until we “found” someone to hang out with. As we got older, we just rode our bikes to friends then went down to the bay or grabbed a clam boat ride over to Fire Island. Times were different back then. We entertained ourselves.
When I moved back to NYC and had kids, play dates were no big deal because they kids would just go from apartment to apartment or my girlfriends and I would meet at the park and the kids would all play.
My helicopter mom days really went into high gear when we moved to the NJ suburbs.
I had no idea what this whole “Play date” thing was about. And since we were in the more “rural” part of Jersey near Princeton, people hunted and had guns. So all the play dates were at my house.
I think the kids enjoyed it because I would tell them to leave me alone and find something to do. And I cooked and baked for them. The boys were easy. But my daughter and her friends were constantly needing my assistance. I’ll tell you, I was thrilled when Oona started the Irish Dancing because she ended up going to classes three times a week–and during competition season sometimes more. She was too tired for playing.
Being a mom these days isn’t easy. Kids can no longer be on their own to explore, discover and ride a bike or walk a distance to their friends’ homes. But..it’s good memories!!!
You are so right, Catherine. I grew up in Huntington…North Shore. We’d be out all day, quick home for lunch and then back out again. We entertained ourselves and did all kinds of crazy things. We also spent lots of time at the beach. Centerport during the week. Robert Moses on the weekends. There was really only one rule…when the dinner bell rang (literally…my mom had a bell she’d ring) I had to come home immediately or I was in big trouble. Yes, good memories. 🙂
Good to know!
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