Outside is for screaming.
I was playing outside with my kids today, and my daughter was driving her motorized car in our cul de sac with me following when these two little girls came running toward us from their front yard chasing their barking dog.
“Look,” I tapped my daughter’s shoulder to show her the brown-haired dog heading our way.
She smiled brightly.
Then I heard one of the girls scream over to me, “We’re sorry for being loud!”
“What?” I thought I didn’t hear her right. Then she repeated those exact words.
“Don’t be silly. You're supposed to be loud outdoors!” I shouted back.
And it was interesting to me that she didn’t know that.
While my family has been confined to the house, social distancing, the weather's been nice, so we've been taking advantage and playing outdoors—and one of the most beautiful things is all the noise I’m hearing.
We all get busy with extracurricular activities, especially as the kids become older and the pressures to get into college picks up. Our competitive culture is about staying busy, achieving, and constantly doing---about not doing our best, but being the best. Because of this, it's rare to see anyone playing outdoors anymore.
And I’m guilty of this too because even though my kids are little, we’re always on the go. We’re going to drop off my eldest at school, classes for the toddler and baby, parks, and activity after activity with all three after school.
But, ever since our neighborhood is social distancing, the beautiful sound of kids playing outside has emerged.
There’s the noise of dogs barking at each other playfully as they chase each other and family members in circles.
There’s the sound of a dad having a catch with his son in the front yard.
There’s the swish of netting as the basketball drops through the goal and hits the floor, followed by celebration screams.
I hope this attitude of letting our kids be kids stays when coronavirus disappears because it's been nice, slowing down, and taking each other in.
Because our happiness and health are what matter above all else—
and this time spent together has been a good reminder of that.
And our children should always know that outside is for screaming.