.:25:. PLAY, It’s simple.

 This morning I woke up with my girls and asked (as I do every morning), “what do you want to do today?”, and (as they do every morning), they excitedly responded by saying, “PLAY!!!”.

In the complex and constantly developing mind of a child, play is simple. It’s basic and requires minimal effort to ignite joy and fulfillment. Encouraging imagination isn’t complicated… with the use of tangible or intangible tools, PLAY is happening all the time in the mind of our kiddos and it becomes even more exciting, fulfilling and memorable when we also participate. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t “play” with my children every second of the day and they don’t want me to. They need to play with others and they definitely need to play alone. This is all part of their development.

However, too many parents get carried away by it all and (at times) I am one of them. They structure the day so tightly that they forget that play has to happen naturally. I reflected back on a day last week. Someone asked what we did and I blankly said “nothing”. I felt a bit unproductive, like a bad and lazy mom, and slightly embarrassed that we didn’t do anything on a beautiful day. But wait!!! We did so much more than nothing.

Danced and tumbled in the grass. We practiced somersaults and rolled down the hill, made angels in the grass and compared it to the snow that will come before we know it! We looked at the clouds while talking about the scratchy grass on our backs, and noticed the smell of summer in the air. Practiced whistling like the birds and counted the small planes departing from the local airport.

Read. They listened to my words attentively and made visual connections with the shapes of the letters and the imagery in the book. They recognized when I skipped a word, pointed out the yellow hat on the man, and counted all the fruit that very hungry caterpillar ate.

Pretended. We are at a fun stage. My girls love pretending. They acted out scenes from a favorite story, they made up their own story with an exciting “once upon a time” and a joyful “the end!”, they pretended to be the animals at the zoo, a doctor to their toys (fixing ‘owies’ and checking hearts) and they sweetly rocked and changed their babies like the little mommies they are.

^ This may seem like nothing, but to your child it’s exactly what they want and need!

Parents!!! Enough with the pressure. You don’t need to go places all the time. You don’t need to be so busy. You don’t need to have the best and biggest toys. Play does not require a plan. It’s doesn’t require a location, a certain day, and it definitely doesn’t require a reason! Play happens every single second of the day for children and it’s important that we recognize this with encouragement and support. I am not doing “nothing” when all of the above is accomplished in one morning. We are busy bonding, building brains and making memories.

With all of this in mind, I love going places with my children and I appreciate the importance of learning and exploring other places than home. But, what I’m also learning is to ignore the pressure and not feel so bad when we do stay home to PLAY. If you’re the type of person that needs to get out all the time, I commend you and I am sure you are making wonderful memories… but just know that when you stay home, you are still surrounded by many opportunities for your kids to PLAY, explore, learn and simply be happy.

Some days it’s just too much to expend all my morning energy into packing a car for two kids, quickly dressing pokey children, eating on the run, and skipping naps. It’s just not always worth it.

I encourage you, you reading this, you with the to-do list in your hand and the plan ready to be implemented. STOP for a moment and just let your littles PLAY at their own pace.

One day, they will leave the house and you will beg for them to come home as much as they can. Enjoy these days, these simple days of PLAY while it lasts… and go roll in the grass with them!


THAT is what PLAY is all about. Simple, beautiful, PLAY.

.:17:. Survival: A Child’s life.

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August 2013 ~ My girls at 1 Month

Where am I? Who are you? What are you saying? Why are you staring?

Why don’t you understand me?

I’m so frustrated!!!

These are the questions that I believe run through our children’s heads immediately after they depart from the cozy little world they called “home” for nearly 9 mo.  A peaceful, quiet, calming place where everything made sense. Leaving that behind for a cold, foreign world where the language is confusing, fingers and needles poke at them, disease and sickness lingers in the air they breathe, everything is too big and it’s impossible to tell anyone what they need or how they feel…

Can you imagine? This crosses my mind frequently, while the puzzled look on my face tries to explore the reasons for my children’s unpleasantries. I believe our children go through more than we’ll ever understand (because we were not built to remember the beginning of our life). Learning how to eat, sleep, move, speak, express – the basic necessities in life. They define survival. When we are swamped, our house is a mess and our children throw tantrums we think we have it rough… Something to consider – maybe they have it rough?!

>>TRY THIS<<

Sleep in a cage with just a sheet and wait for someone to take you out of that cage to change your pee filled diaper you slept in all night. When they come to “release you”, you find a way to smile and jump for joy because you love them! Then, you wait for that same person to figure out the complexities of your eating needs/habits and feed you food that you really hate or… you’re just not sure you like yet. You sit with sticky fingers and crusty hair in a drool drenched shirt as your mouth throbs (encouraging teeth to painfully pop out). Your tummy hurts and for some reason your bones do too (because you’re growing). You are overwhelmed by your environment, surrounded by walls and furniture that tower over you and stare silently, just waiting to pick a fight. Nobody speaks your language, but they frequently nod and smile as if they understand – – but they have NO IDEA.

Yet in this world you still manage to smile at silly faces, scream with excitement and joy when you learn something new, show your curiosity on a daily basis because you are determined to figure this place out, and you still manage to love the people that welcomed you into this very scary place…

Something us adults could learn from.  The world isn’t fair, it isn’t built for us, not many people really understand us, we crave love + attention and seek solitude.

>>TRY THIS<<

Wake up patiently for the day to welcome you, be happy to see those around you and smile at their silly faces, be grateful for the people who help you and put up with the things in your life you can’t control, embrace the change around you (even when it’s hard), learn from your mistakes and be glad that you did, and just like your children – be curious sponges on a daily basis and challenge yourself!

Yes, this is easier said than done but we all started out this way and we can really learn from the little ones we brought into the world… or did they bring us into the world?!