Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of watching my neice for a little while. A big part of why I love being home is spending time with her and my other family members that I've missed so much the last couple of years. She and Gabe are pretty close in age so play time goes really well; lots of imaginative stuff, tag, hide and go seek, LEGO building and more. Kat is too young to play with anyone yet but she's happy to toddle around and play near them, and they're very good with her.
On Sunday we all ended up in the basement right before lunch and Gabe and Arja invited me to play a modified form of tag they'd just invented; try to throw a stuffed toy into the shopping cart while the person pushing was avoiding you. Whoever got the toy into the cart was then 'it' and we played a few rounds. GOOD TIMES. Afterwards I realized (again) how wonderful it is to just play-this is maybe the greatest gift having children gives you. Besides sharing the joy and wonderment of seeing the world for the first time, play is right there at the top of the list of Awesome Things About Parenting. When you're playing, whether it's tag or hide and seek, pretending to be super heroes or building pillow forts or LEGO, the rest of the world disappears. You get to be a kid again; no worries about big things like world politics or war, poverty or environmental destruction, and the little things go too; bills, car repairs, bad hair days, all of it. It disappears into giggles and loving the moment.