Learning How to Play.





Sage has been away for the past week. We've missed him (more than he has missed us by his reports). He is coming home this weekend and we're so glad! Every special moment or special treat that has happened this past week Lupine says "I wish Sagie was here to share this with us." Such a big heart that girl has.

But she's missed him. A lot. He is, after all, her playmate day-in and day-out. I guess I hadn't realized how much my kids play together until I'm home with just one, and then the requests for me to get down on the floor and play are nearly continuous.

I've made a concerted effort to focus on playing with Lupine a bit everyday while he is away. I didn't realize how out of my routine this sort of play was. We spend so much time "working" together – cooking, canning, foraging, gardening – but not nearly as much time immersed in her (or his) creative worlds.

So yesterday we pulled the doll house out into the fresh air and set up our play on the front path. Being outside shifted out play and we found ourselves barefoot wandering the yard and the block foraging treats to cut up for the "mama and the teenager" to cook for their daughters. Crab apples. Ground cherries. Flower petals. Hosta leaves. And it was, um, fun. Once I got into it was really and truly fun.

We grown-ups. We have forgotten how to play, haven't we? Most of us anyhow. Sometimes it's hard to put aside that to-do list and get lost in the magic of this miniature world. But it is so vital. For imagination. For playing out the dramas of the day. For connection. For joy.

And so we played. And played. And played. And then I picked up my camera to take a few pictures and heard a small but determined voice say, "Put down your camera mama. And start playing again!"

And so I did.

May your weekend have some quiet moments for you to rediscover the joy – and connection – of play.


7 thoughts on “Learning How to Play.

  1. Pamela R says:

    This may not be the kind of play we enjoy as adults (although it’s fun to revisit sometimes), just as older children don’t play the same way younger children do, but I do think that it is vital to remember to play (whatever form that takes as adults) every day! EVERY DAY!

  2. Angie says:

    Why is play so hard? I find it really hard to not start cleaning or straightening things around me, or thinking about the other things I should be getting done. It feels awful at times and my daughter certainly notices it as I get the same reminder to stop what I’ve gotten sidetracked into doing and just PLAY!
    I’ve set a timer for myself once in a while and sadly it helps. Then I don’t have to think about how much time I’ve spent playing – I can just play til the timer goes off. I will let my daughter know how much time we have and she is usually happy with that. Feels strange to have to use a timer but then I can let go of the other things consuming my brain for that short amount of time.
    I think I need more play time…

  3. Laura says:

    There is a real letting go when one plays, we have to let go of our adult selves, of our responcibilities, our concerns about time. It is good for us to do this, a form of meditation and it is incredible special to our kids when we do join in. I think they see us in a whole new way. lovely post, thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    I always hate to go to bed at the end of the night feeling as though I’ve wasted the day but with that said, I value hard play just as much as I do hard work! Now where did I put those lego…

  5. Casey says:

    I struggle a great deal with play…Jack’s play is still very rule-based and always always the same. This toy only plays this way, and any suggestion or alteration from that is still often cause for a meltdown. Doing the same things over and over and over is just tiresome and hard to do every day, but it’s just how his little self likes to play. The times he engages me in new or creative play are just so special!

  6. jeanine says:

    Ditto. I enjoyed the reminder that this post provided. I struggle with this a lot with three little people in the house now. They play so much with one another that often i find myself feeling very unplayful and in need of a good strong reminder. 🙂
    I shared a link to this on my blog, RosieDreams. I think my readers will enjoy it. Here’s a link to it: http://rosiedreams.com/a-few-good-reads/
    Thanks again!

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