~these are the days of playing~
I admit. I’m a game person.
I love playing games. And I love playing games with my kids. We have several shelves full of games, from old-time games like Life to newer games like Destination USA to homemade games like Family Memory. We play cards and dice games and board games and everything in between. We go in stages with the games we play the most, often but rarely a day goes by where we don’t play something. Farkle has been the choice game around here lately, except for Eliana who has been enjoying Dutch Blitz.
Playing pretend games, on the other hand, isn’t my cup of tea. It’s not that I won’t do it, but it’s a bit harder for me. It takes a bit more energy and imagination and patience. I’ll blame my lack of interest on my more structured nature and my ever wandering mind. So when the kids ask to play a game, I’m much more inclined to say yes to that than to…say…playing kitchen or playing house. My older kids have mostly grown out of that stage and can play those kinds of games together. But the younger two, still want me to “play” with them.
I don’t know if I’m just full of excuses, but it seems to get harder and harder to sit down with the little ones and just play. Even if it’s simply building a block tower, there always seems to be something else to do. It’s hard enough to manage the older kids and their schoolwork, so taking a few minutes to put a puzzle together seems hard for some reason. Maybe because there’s always something next. Lunch to be made, a floor to be swept, clothes to be folded and
put away left in the laundry basket on the couch.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that getting stuff done isn’t all that important to me, although stuff does have to get done. But lately, I’ve been noticing myself saying more and more, “hold on a second,” “I’ll be there in a minute,” “you need to be patient,” and so on. And if I’m talking to a 2-year old, patience is NOT happening. Heck, I don’t have much patience for waiting either.
Having a small tribe of kids doesn’t make it easy to give them their own time. They all want me for something and they all want their own time with me. It’s hard. I do try everyday to do something with each of them but the time I actually can do that is limited. That’s probably one of the reasons I still lay with each one of them at night. It gives them some ‘just mom’ time.
But the two littlest ones just don’t get enough of me playing with them. You know, on the floor, stop-everything-I’m-doing kind of playing. And when I do, they love it. But I’m the first to admit; I don’t do it enough.
Tonight the oldest three had musical practice at church and Jason was working so I took the youngest two into one of our rooms at church to hang out. I’ll be honest. I brought my calendar thinking I could do some planning.
But once we got there, I realized that we had this full stretch of uninterrupted time to do nothing but play. We got out puzzles and blocks. We played with the kitchen and doll house.
We took the babies for a walk. We played with musical instruments and sorted plastic bears by color. (well, Judah had more fun throwing them across the room). We attempted the train table, but had more fun sitting on it than playing with trains. Them, mind you, not me.
We laughed and talked. Judah pushed chairs around the room. Naomi wanted to listen to music. We played. We took time just for playing. And it was fun. And refreshing.
I’m sure neither one of them will remember playing together tonight. But I will. I have the photos (and this post) to remember it. And the reminder that I need to do it more often. For them. For me. For the very reason that they are more important than any other task, than any to-do list, than any other desire in my heart, than even my “need” for me time.
You know, I’m pretty sure God feels the same way. That He just wants me to stop what I’m doing and spend some time with Him. To forget the laundry and the dishes for a few minutes and just be in His presence. And while yes, I can pray while I’m scrubbing the floor and setting the table and picking up clothing off the floor, sometimes I just need to stop what I’m doing and give Him some time. Soak up who He is and find rest. I know when I do, I come out refreshed.
What do “these days” look like for you. Simply comment with one…these are the days of…
**If you want to check out the rest of my #write31days series, you can find the link here.