Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just Play

I am not a grown-up. I am old enough by far to qualify as one, and I am an adult. I feel like the moment I grow up is the moment I forget how to play. I don't want to forget. I don't want to be serious. I show restraint most of the time, but sometimes I just need to let loose and run through the trees, lost in a fantasy. Am I a woodland fairy, a deer, a hawk soaring low on the hunt? I want to keep my vivid imagination intact.  I can't write unless I can put myself in the mind of another, and I need to hold on to the child in me to do that.

I am a responsible adult.  I have an engineering degree, a mortgage, a family.  I had a "real" job until it became evident that I wasn't getting paid enough to make it worth the stress once I subtracted gas and daycare from my wages.  I am responsible for the little man crawling joyfully around my feet right now.  He is looking up at me and smiling and I am playing with him even while writing this.  We are playing "hide the mouse from the baby".  Sometimes that is all it takes to entertain.  I am his mother, his caretaker, his soul provider of nutrition for the first six-and-a-half months of his life, his playmate, his diaper changer.  If I ever forget how to play, how could we relate so flawlessly?  I can make toys from paper and plastic bottles, create soft friendly bears from a ball of yarn and some stuffing.  My imagination frees us from the need for manufactured toys, though we have a houseful thanks to my mother.

There is too much seriousness in the world.  Too much grown-up behavior.  Take a break from it.  Forget about your job and your bills for a few minutes and play with your children.  Pretend.  Be the dragon to their knights and princesses.  Go out side and make up stories about clouds and birds.  Paint a picture together.  If you don't have children, play anyways.  It's refreshing, really, it is.  Sled down a hill, roll in the grass, jump in a pile of leaves, just do something!  Life is so much better when you allow yourself a moment of fun within the otherwise endless doldrums of routine responsibility.

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