As my awakening began, one of the things I wanted to do more was play with my kids. Sure, we did plenty of trips to the park, zoo, or other family activities, but I didn’t really spend any time sitting on their bedroom floors with them, just playing. They’d often ask, “Mommy, want to play with me?” But I’d usually have something do to – food to prepare, bills to pay, rooms to clean, or something relaxing I wanted to do.
For me, ceasing all my planning and being in the moment was epitomized by the simple act of playing with my kids.
I’m so happy that I now regularly join in when Sienna and Teo are playing in their rooms – either alone or, more frequently, together. Just entering their world, playing whatever fun game or activity they come up with – it’s pure joy. We connect and enjoy each others’ company and let our imaginations run free.
Just today, Sienna came into the kitchen while I was making coffee and asked, “Can we go to Sea World?” I reminded her that we are not spending extra money right now and would probably go to Sea World again in a couple years. Next she asked, “What about Legoland? We’ve never been there.” I smiled and agreed, “We’ll go to Legoland someday.” That seemed to satisfy her and she skipped off.
A little later she asked, “Mommy, do you want to play with me?”
“Yes, what shall we play?”
Sienna, Mateo and I went to Sienna’s room and started piling up stuffed animals on her bed. We all climbed up on the bed, arranged pillows and blankets, and started playing “camping”. We snuggled in, named the animals, made up little stories about their relationships to one another, and pretended to sleep. Sienna snuggled up beside me, looked in my eyes, and said “Mommy, this is better than going to Sea World.”
What a great reminder. I thought of the wise quote – “Children spell love t-i-m-e.” Out of all the countless things parents do for their children, what kids really remember is how much focused time we spend with them. Kids don’t need us to spend a bunch of money having an over-the-top experience in order to enjoy quality time together. It’s just about spending time with them and, most importantly, being focused and in the moment with their playtime.
Right now, she’s using her Doc McStuffins’ doctor kit to give Mateo a check-up. I better go, I think I’m next…