I have yet another confession to make, you guys.
I’m not the best at “playing.” Never have been. Like not ever – even as a kid. Telling me to use my imagination is like asking me to befriend a centaur.
Create rules to a game? Sign me up. I like order!
Follow the rules to a board game? Sure, sounds like a splendidly organized time!
Imagine a pretend family and their life? A car chase with bad guys? Throw in some dialogue? Stop punking me.
I don’t know what that means.
Sometimes this makes me seem like a really lame mom. There was a time that I would feel like the fragile, sweet little petunias I call my children would be so scarred by this obvious flaw in me.
But then I realized that my kids were doing it all on their own – as long as I didn’t hamper their imagination, they were creating whole alternate universes without my help! I mean, remember when Noah created a whole career, office building, and life for himself? He was doing just fine without me.
Now, when they ask me to play some imagination game, I say, “Hey, I grew two of you! Play with each other!!” Duh.
When I asked my boys what they wanted to do over their break, this was the list they gave me:
- Play baseball with Dad.
- Sleepovers at Nonni and Grandpa’s and Grandma and Papa’s houses.
- Go to the gym to play basketball.
- Picnic at the park.
- Get ice cream.
- Play games.
- Sleep in.
- Go to a movie.
- Play with playdoh.
- Make cookies.
Honestly, this list is just right up my alley for this fall break. I love its simplicity. I am so glad that fulfilling this list means we will spend a whole lot of time together (minus the sleepovers…they can do that on their own – I hear a date night calling!). Bonus: no imagination activities!
Well, we are on the first Thursday of a two week break, and I’m happy to announce that as I’m writing this, the boys are playing baseball at the park with their dad, we had a picnic at the zoo today (the boys say this can be substituted for the park), we went out for ice cream on Tuesday night, we slept in three days this week, and we’ve played with playdoh twice already (I obviously created things that required no thought – worms, for example).
Check. Check. Check. Check. Check!
We’re hanging out and laughing with each other, Ty’s been home early every night this week, and we are all catching up on sleep.
And this break has reminded me yet again that I don’t need to play every single game for every single minute with them.
We’ve turned off the TV and I’ve left them with no plan, no supplies, no directions. They’re having so much fun being home together. And you know what? Not only have they survived, they’ve thrived. I’m so glad that I have let my boys learn how to use their imaginations on their own, and how to play with each other unaided.
I think I’ve finally come to the realization that I can let myself off the hook for my lack of play. In fact, I can maybe give myself a tiny little pat on the back for it.
What do you need to let yourself off the hook for today?