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Next Stop Rock

Updated on January 24, 2012

My kids have healthy imaginations. We are fortunate to live less than a mile from the elementary school they attend, so we often walk to school. As desert dwellers we can do this most of the year. Unless of course it’s going to be over 100 degrees, or we just can’t get ourselves ready to go on time. My oldest will sometimes walk by himself, but I am happy that he will often wait so we can all walk together. This gives us the opportunity for great arguments, conversations and competitions every day.

One of their favorite games to play on our walk is called Next Stop Rock. This is something they made up themselves and have been playing for years. It’s a race. They pick a point some distance ahead and race toward it. The first one to the goal gets to proclaim “Next stop” and all the rest have to say “rock” when they get there. Then another landmark is chosen and off they go again. Sometimes there are points involved and sometimes great amounts of money. The oldest and fastest will often arrive at school or home with billions and trillions of dollars, or kabillions of google dollars (their favorite currency). I am sure you can understand how fights often break out.

Now no one wants to be last, so as I am old and slow, they often beg me to participate. Since this is about the extent of my physical fitness routine, they can pretty much guarantee that I will always come in last. I can’t get away with walking fast either. My youngest will watch my shadow out of the corner of his eye as he runs to make sure it is progressing appropriately. He doesn’t want to beat me if I’m not making an effort. The result is that I often arrive at school red faced and out of breath, the picture of fitness and health I am sure.

So why do I allow myself to put up with such torture? I love them! I am honored that they still want to play with me. I don’t want the little one to feel bad about always being last. Besides, I’m sure that if I really put some effort into it I could still beat them all. It is good exercise and it helps to get us to school on time if we are running a little late. Finally, I secretly hope that all this good exercise will make me the fit, buff mom that we all want to be!

Do your kids make up their own games?

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