The other day we were all out in the backyard and Julia saw some wood on the ground, pieces of our soon to be tree house, and she yelled out “mom let’s play farm - these can be the stalls!” I looked over, I’m sure with a weird look on my face, as I was trying to figure out what that would mean. Play does not come easy to me. My idea of play is a really hard power yoga class and working on books in the studio - not pretend farm.
I didn’t play. I went inside to do something like start dinner or clean something, but in the back of my mind I was remembering what a friend of ours said (when thinking of his own kids being little) that if he could do it all over again he would have played more. One time when Julia was probably 2 she asked me to play farm, a re-occurring theme with her, and I did. I don’t remember exactly what happened but I remember that it was fun. She did most of the play, and I got a glimpse into her world of pretend – a fascinating place to be. The moment made me feel more connected to her and I think it did the same for Julia.
I try and remind myself now that the girls are in school all day that even 5 or 10 minutes of undivided attention goes a long way for all of us. I don’t always play, but the next time one of my girls asks me to I’m going to remind myself of two things: that it can actually be fun and that I am grateful that they even asked.