The week I had four children


One month ago, I was putting sheets on the guest bed wondering if I’d soon be up with a sad child most of the night: They said that some kids get very homesick.


I had stocked my kitchen with macaroni-and-cheese, chicken nuggets and juice boxes: They said some kids weren’t used to eating adventurously and shouldn’t be forced to develop a new palate in just one week.

I had given the kids “the speech” about being polite and kind and understanding: They said that many kids may be very shy in their new surroundings.

I was prepared to protect our Fresh Air girl and ease her into our suburban life slowly. I was ready to hold her as she carefully tried to ride a two-wheel bike. Fasten a bubble around her waist when we got near water. Dry her tears when a bug landed on her or when she got homesick.

And then she arrived and taught us that not all city kids act the same.

Our girl was up for anything.

Ride a bike? Of course.

Swim? Sure!

Hungry? Yes, let me try that!

Tree? Pshaw, I can climb that!

No, I don’t need to call my mom right now. And, can I just sleep in the girls’ room instead of the guest room?

Where can we go today? Let’s swim/play/dance/eat/enjoy/laugh/soak-it-all-in.

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She wanted nothing to do with the Wii or even the television for most of her visit. If ever a child decide to embrace the experience put before her, she did it.

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It was tiring at times. It wasn’t easy every day. The kids didn’t always get along perfectly. And a week’s visit felt about long enough.

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But it was hard to say goodbye too.
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If you live in New England or the Mid-Atlantic area and think you could host a child for a week during the summer, check out the Fresh Air website. It’s an experience you won’t forget.

Comments

  1. Mama Goose says:

    How absolutely wonderful!! What a rewarding experience for all of you! Bravo!!!

  2. Mama Goose says:

    How absolutely wonderful!! What a rewarding experience for all of you! Bravo!!!

  3. I loved her. She was spunky and talkative (two of my favorite traits in children), and as you stated, up for anything. I still remember her pleading with Poppy to toss her into the air at the pond, over and over and over again. Hooray.

  4. I loved her. She was spunky and talkative (two of my favorite traits in children), and as you stated, up for anything. I still remember her pleading with Poppy to toss her into the air at the pond, over and over and over again. Hooray.

  5. Yay! That sounds terrific! Is it the kind of thing where you can invite the same person back next year? Or would you want to switch it up every summer?

  6. Yay! That sounds terrific! Is it the kind of thing where you can invite the same person back next year? Or would you want to switch it up every summer?

  7. What a wonderful opportunity for your family and her.
    Blessings
    Diane

  8. What a wonderful opportunity for your family and her.
    Blessings
    Diane

  9. Making It Work Mom says:

    How wonderful! I remember hosting Fresh Air Kids from my youth. We will have to look into this in the next few years!

  10. Making It Work Mom says:

    How wonderful! I remember hosting Fresh Air Kids from my youth. We will have to look into this in the next few years!

  11. Jessica {Team Rasler} says:

    Wow, what an amazing program! I wonder if there's anything similar out here in the Pacific Northwest. The cities are closer to green space, here, but some urban kids still wouldn't have access to it. I'm definitely going to look into it next summer (when I'm no longer foggy from being up all night with a newborn)!

  12. Jessica {Team Rasler} says:

    Wow, what an amazing program! I wonder if there's anything similar out here in the Pacific Northwest. The cities are closer to green space, here, but some urban kids still wouldn't have access to it. I'm definitely going to look into it next summer (when I'm no longer foggy from being up all night with a newborn)!

  13. IzzyMom says:

    What a great experience for all of you! I really wish we could do this where I live.

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