The Leaf House Memory: Letting Kids Be Kids

I’ve told my youngest that her main job right now is “to be a kid.” She’s only eleven years old, and she talks about exams and her “schedule” more than just playing. She asks if it’s OK that she has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. She asks about grades and work and all these adult things.

Be a child! Be a kid! Oh, the stress of always needing to know your purpose, of always needing productive afternoons, and of accounting for your time!

Oh, childhood! Come back to us!

I remind my daughter about building “leaf houses” like my sister and I did at Ft. Lewis, Washington. I was in 3rd grade, and I can picture my pink coat; I can smell the leaf piles around us; I remember the darkness falling as we refused to come in for dinner. I remember falling back into my living room pile of leaves while my sister built her own couch of leaves.

I remind my daughter, too, about the inside fun of apple pies, leaf art, and cider on the stove. I remind her about cinnamon sticks and pumpkin decorating and roasting seeds.

Childhood! Come back!


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