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  • Play

    Posted on February 23rd, 2011 Patricia No comments

    “Hey Mom, hey Dad. Can you come out and play?”

    Play relieves stress, stimulates creativity and encourages a positive outlook on life. Play is a gift that kids offer us; that oddly liberating chance to get finger paint under our nails and mud between our toes again.

    Admittedly, there are times when I have to work at play because I get out of practice. When my youngster challenged me to get off the parents’ bench and climb the jungle gym with him, I was nervous — and a little embarrassed. But his astonished grin made it worth the effort. Then another mom climbed up. Laughing atop our playground empire, we left adult worries at ground level.

    Last year, our family devised a bonus jar to celebrate good weeks at school. Everyone wrote down fun, inexpensive activities we could do together; for example, “walk in the woods,” “go get a pizza,” “play a board game,” “make cookies,” “camp in the living room” or “ride our bikes.” Then we’d pick one to complete that weekend.

    Playful moments provide memories. While watching television and munching popcorn with my grown daughter and her two little girls, my daughter said, “Mom, remember the first time we watched the Wizard of Oz on TV?”

    “Wow,” I replied. “You were so young. What made you think of that? ”

    She smiled slyly. “Remember our popcorn fight?”

    I had forgotten how, during a commercial, her dad playfully tossed a kernel of popcorn at her. She tossed back two. Suddenly, popcorn was flying everywhere, much to the delight of our popcorn-loving dogs.

    I studied my bowl of popcorn. She stared at hers. We looked at the girls sitting so placidly in front of the television. Then we fired the first volley.

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