I don't say too much about childhood obesity; there's plenty to read out there, and my opinion isn't much different from yours, probably. Kids eat too many snacks and play too many video games, watch too much television and drink too much soda. But this article caught my eye.
At the same time children have gotten fatter, participation in youth sports has also increased. An interesting twist of fate, yes? Your kids are jazzed to play soccer but it doesn't seem to help move the pudge. And, truly, that's not a good reason to sign up for a team. You play team sports because you want to be part of the game, not to get rid of baby fat.
Like the author of one of the books cited in the article, when I was a kid we didn't really play on teams. We just played. My brother and I walked to and from school every day from late elementary school through high school. As soon as we banged through the front door we changed from "school" clothes to "play" clothes and headed back outside.
After we did our homework, of course.
Each season brought different outdoor types of outdoor fun, but we probably liked winter best. Bundling up against the cold, dragging sleds to the best hill in town – another long walk – and joining all the other kids from school trudging up and sliding down, over and over and over. Sometimes a few parents would build a fire in an old 50-gallon steel drum and bring a thermos of hot chocolate, but it was hard getting us away from the hill for even a little warmth and rest.
Ice skating, too, was something we looked forward to. I had tights and a little short skating skirt and wore a couple of heavy sweaters and loved the feeling of gliding around the ice, just like the skaters I watched on Wide World of Sports.
Well, maybe not just like them, but in my mind that's how I looked.
I don't want to sound like Grumpy Old Man from Saturday Night Live, shouting about his rough childhood and then exclaiming, "And we liked it!" So I'll stop right now. With just a final observation that I rarely find children playing in a neighborhood. They're probably all at the park. Or watching television.
Most of blogland seems to be taking time off for the holidays. But I'm home and this is how I've spent every morning of my life for almost a year now, so why not? This helps me more than it helps you. Heh. I'll be taking a short blog break next month, but in the meantime, I'll carry on as usual. Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I will be socializing later this evening, and I think I'll just relax and enjoy myself, while continuing to avoid sugar.
I hope Santa brings you everything you want and a special surprise, too.