When I became pregnant, I really began evaluating how I wanted to play with my child. Many of you are probably thinking, "What is this woman talking about?" Allow me to explain.
Imagine yourself on a playground with your child. Are you sitting on a bench to the side? Or are you sliding, swinging (or pushing), and running around with your child?
Imagine your child with a train set in front of him/her. Are you to the side watching or are you on all fours pushing trains too?
Imagine your child outside playing with chalk in the driveway. Are you watching or coloring?
Me? More times than not, I am getting dirty with my son and loving every minute of it! Sure, sometimes I am to the side at home. The Boy can play independently, but a big part of being present in his life is playing on his level and mine! We kick the soccer ball. We get wet and dirty. We do not need expensive games or loud electronics. We need one another to climb on, laugh with, and chase. We make every day tasks fun games. In doing so, we have a lot of fun together. Alone, I see laundry as something that needs to get done, but with The Boy helping me, it is a fun game.
Through play, we continue to grow closer. The first time he said, "Mama, you play with me?" my heart melted. Some of the games and talk might be silly, but the giggles, smiles, and belly laughs will live forever in my mind.
Submitted to the PhD in Parenting Carnival of Play.