There is such a privilege in being the mother of preschoolers. I admit that I spent much of Jake’s first few years in a hurry to get from one activity to another. I was lucky to have found a few life-changing books at just the right time which chastised me: Why are you in a hurry? Where are you headed that is so important? Why don’t you have time for the boys to balance their way around that brick planter ten times just for the joy of it, or to examine that bug on the sidewalk? And I couldn’t answer why.
Of children, David Elkind writes: “All of their experiences are fresh, novel, and exciting. They see this new world as artist, naturalist, writer, scientist, and much more. That is why young children are so fascinating to watch. One moment the child is a naturalist busily examining a grasshopper, the next an artist putting impressions on paper, the next a writer describing an experience in highly original language, and always the sociologist exploring the potential of social interaction. These many roles are fulfilled with joyous excitement.” (The Power of Play)
I’m glad that not only the parents but also the boys at our house are getting back into the swing of things with their daily job: playing. Although I sometimes feel a bit wistful when I see pictures from those of you who live in gloriously seasonal places like Maine and Oregon, some days I manage to be thankful to live where I do: in a beautiful mild climate where both snowy mountains and sandy beaches are a short car ride away, and where playing outside is always an option we can enjoy. There is a connection to beauty, nature, and all that is right with the world when outdoors. A thankful heart is, after all, a happy heart.
I’m off now, to “be the bad guy” in my boys’ upstairs fort, constructed mainly of footrests, ribbons, and other odds and ends that were waiting in the hallway to be put away. See, there is an advantage to procrastination sometimes.