Sure, I cheated a little to get that X for today. Bug would have had me talk about all my ex's because she is almost 14 and very into all of that sort of thing right now. But I'd prefer to save that for our "girl talk" sessions.
Back in March, I teamed up with Carolyn and posted an article of hers on fitness and it got me remembering all the things I've done with my children outside over the years. The ways we had fun and got a little exercise together.
It started with puddle jumping with Bubba when he was a toddler, to make sure he wouldn't be a goodie-two-shoes who was afraid to get dirty. (That lesson took too well.) Then we often had swinging sessions at the house or at the park. When I'd push him in the swing in our back yard, I'd sing "It's a Wonderful Day" by Elvis or our own special version of "Swingin'" by John Anderson. Sometimes we'd throw a Frisbee around in the yard. And then there was one summer where we got to go to the pool in Silsbee quite often and swim and dive together. Swimming has always been my favorite sport, favorite activity. Then we had to leave that behind because Bubba found they were practicing racist policies on who they admitted to the pool.
We also did a lot of yard work back then. Mowing. Raking leaves and stickerballs out from under the two huge Chinese Chestnut trees. And even inside, we stayed busy because I was an avid housekeeper then. (You'd never believe that now!) If you do it right and do it often, that's a lot of work. But doing it together, with the stereo playing or us singing it could be a lot of fun.
By the time Bug came along, we were in Caneyhead with more room and little country roads that opened up a few more possibilities. The three of us would get a ball and play "monkey in the middle", where two would try to pass the ball back and forth and the third would be in the middle trying to grab it. We've even gone out and just swung each other around and around until we fell down. We still played Frisbee at times, all of us or just Bug and I. And thanks to the basketball goal, we could now play horse or pig. We rode bikes up and down our road together. Made a few excursions down the hill.
Bubba being an older boy now, had us go out and hike in the woods. The three of us even went into the Sanctuary off of 327 and hiked way out past the trail and set on a sandbar by the creek and had a picnic. Bubba took us down to the gullies by the house once. And then later he and Xena the Boston terrier ended up in the newspaper because they led some folks who had been exploring down in the baygall to the gullies.
Then for one year, maybe two, we had a large pool set up outside. Bug and I spent a lot of time in that. I taught her to swim there. (I have been Red Cross certified in Intermediate Swimming, Basic Water Rescue, Canoeing and CPR. A little factoid about your mama.) We'd cool off and relax there most every evening, swim some laps and play some water games. Moonlight swims to. Watching the stars. Good times.
Bug got a soccer ball. Never has played it as a sport, but really enjoyed it at school and would have me get out and kick it back and forth with her with imaginary goals posted.
Then of course there have been the myriad of impromptu games of washers or horseshoes. Sometimes just our little family, sometimes with loads of extended family and friends. Bubba, I'm sure can remember all out basket ball games down at Granny's house at family gatherings and the times the whole gang played volleyball.
We've even had badminton set up from time to time in the yard to play together. We've made a few excursions out to bowl or to play put-put golf together. Done our share of swimming in the Neches River or Bush Lake in the earlier years. A couple of summers ago, Bug had a blast swimming and fishing off of Uncle Jim's pier on Sam Rayburn.
And don't forget the horse riding that Bubba and even I participated in with Daddy. Shame that he doesn't feel up to it anymore to share with Bug. But she's done her fair share of walking, stalking and hunting deer, squirrel and rabbit with him in the woods, just as Bubba and I have done.
So, I suppose even though none of us have ever participated in organized team sports, we've always been a fairly active and outdoorsy family. And I feel fairly certain it is a tradition that will continue.