Thursday, September 24, 2009

My love affair with play

I was delighted to have made a new friend on Facebook who has an excellent place for young children to play. It’s called Play Matters and she has a location in Seattle

I asked her to be my blog guest and write an article about playing. You'll be seeing the article in the next blog/note I post. You’d think play is a safe topic to talk about both for kids and adults, right?

People that are close to me would say that I am funny, playful, buoyant and curious with a “nothing-is-out-of-limits” attitude. To my amazement (or should I say, amusement?) “stuff” came up for me around the topic of playing. I come to find out that I have a hard time justifying time to play. I guess in a way, I feel guilty about playing.

Here are some of the reasons why I stop myself from playing:

· If I have too much fun sooner or later my luck will change
· I have to “earn” my right to play by getting all my “chores” done first.
· It isn't safe to play – you’ll lose control and something bad might happen
· If I get too silly people won’t respect me and take me seriously

I know logically that all these are all “stories” I have told myself and none of them are the real truth about me or about playing. I figured that we all dream of a life with freedom: freedom to be happy, freedom to explore and freedom to be who we came here to be. As parents, we watch our children doing that and wonder what happen to us.

As I explore my own personal past and relationship with play I remember the way play used to be when I was kid. I remembered that I was only allowed to play freely when my parents and adult family members wanted to have “little ears” out of the way: when they wanted to talk about grown-up stuff. However, I couldn't enjoy much play at other times. Even as a very small child, the idea of play for the sake of play wasn't one I was familiar with: my duties always came first.

I realized last night I have a second chance to learn and enjoy playing. I have a very precocious and active daughter who constantly pulls me into her world and makes it OK for me to find a better relationship with play. When I told her today that I was writing about mommy learning to play again, she looked at me puzzled and asked: “You mean you forgot? How did you forget?”
I guess that is what this blog is about. Figuring out how did I forget and how to reclaim that joy that is play.

How do you find your place in the world of play?

1 comment:

  1. I play with my son. Before he was born I would still make time for my own playing. Whether I reverted for a child just for a moment and played with barbies or tea party, or had a pretend sword fight with my brother. I tried to make room for it in my life. I also try to find time to be creative with my Husband We play more structured games (cause he needs rules). We would play his video games, or role playing games with friends. Now with our son we have a chance to let our inner child out even more and have fun playing games with him and help him along his way of learning to play. It is just an amazing spiral of a journey. From child, to adult, back to child.