Friday, March 12, 2010

Play

I'm alone with the boys until next Thursday while Melanie helps her sister out in Minnesota.  This can be a bit daunting...however I think I've held up ok.  At the least the house isn't completely trashed, so that's a good sign.
This evening, while I was enjoying a quick bite, Nathaniel invites me to join him and his brother in their room.  I finished up the last few Nachos and went to investigate what was up.
Nathaniel stated that he wanted to talk to me.  I think for most parents to hear their child say this could instill a moment of fear...but he's four years old, what would he have to say?
I sit down on his bed, and in a moment he turns into a complete facilitator.  He wants us to play some guessing games...each taking turns making animal sounds and guessing what they are.  Well, I thought he was just awesome for how he approached it, so I joined him in his game.

Sounds easy, right?
Well, for me it's not so easy.  For all the years of experience I have in theatre, and the ability to work with kids, I have a mental block for finding enjoyment in simple playtime.  I've not been that great at getting down on the floor with my own kids and just let my imagination go wild.  Some guilt has been shed for this on my part...I just have difficulty sometimes getting into that Play mode.
As a child, I was vividly imaginative.  I never seemed able to get bored...and my sense of play was intense.  I could create entire worlds in my bedroom and keep myself occupied for hours on end.  Didn't matter if it was Hot Wheels, Legos, even Lightbright...I could make the most of any toy.
As my parents marriage dissolved around me at the end of my first decade, I desperately began to cling to the idea that I could understand everything that was happening.  I thinks I held onto this belief too much; that I forced myself into a version of adulthood that was far too soon for my own good.  I preferred the company of computers and records to most people...and toys became a thing of the past.
As I semi-pulled myself out of that shell through my forays into theatre, I still didn't really know how to play anymore...how to just throw myself into that world that I used to know.  I didn't even see a benefit to doing so.
Who knew that it would be my own son who would provide me with such a simple lesson.  That simple play can be a massive stress reliever.  That hearing the hiccuping giggle of your four year can make you feel so wonderful inside...especially knowing you were the one making him laugh.
I am truly blessed to have such a smart kid.

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