Wednesday, March 24, 2010

At Play



Yesterday, the children were playing House. (I knew they were playing House because they were being nice to each other: “Sister, do you want to help me make my bed?” “Why, yes, Sister, I do. Let me finish folding your pajamas, and then I’ll fluff your pillow.”)


Miriam (4) was holding Gideon (7 wks.), Lily (6) had Salem (7 wks.), and Eden (3) had her dolly. Miriam instructed, “And this is my child, and you’re holding my other child, and Eden is watching my other child, and Jonathan can be one of my children.”


“But where are the other children? This isn’t enough.”


“Oooh, I know! They can be at school and they will be home soon.”


I absent-mindedly (because it’s gone for good) listened to their play when it struck me: Their dream? What they want to be when they grow up? What they pretend to be more often than anything else?


Is ME. Only it’s a more perfect, calmer, fun-loving version. But the basic elements are there: the children, and more children, and cooking, and cleaning, and more children.


This is PLAY to them.


And then I remembered: That was play to me, too. I wanted nothing more than to be able to Windex the mirrors and bounce a baby on my hip while stirring something yummy in a bowl. I played three games: House, School, and Church.


When did I stop “playing”?




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