When exactly do we lose our interest in play?
When do we start saying, "Oh, I'm too old for that!"?
For me, I don't remember when it happened, but lately I find myself bowing out of the shenanigans more and more. I blame it on my bad back, my overwhelming to-do list, or my responsibility as the family photographer, but really when it comes down to it, I think I have just become comfortable with being a spectator rather than a participant. As parents, we become so intoxicated with watching our kids experience life that we forget to live ourselves. Fun for us is watching their faces light up with wonder and awe as they experience something new or master a particular challenge, but what if we were actually a part of that moment? What if we were the cause of their smiles? Think about it. They mean everything to us, and for a brief time, we mean everything to them so we need to make the most of it. We need to play!
Let me set it up for you: it was a very hot and humid morning. The kids and I had just spent a grueling three hours preparing a patch for the strawberry plants my friend is giving me (and I am oh, so very excited about getting), and we were in desperate need of a cooling off.
(Totally off-topic, but if you are wondering how on earth I ever managed to get my kids to help me with this chore, I'll let you in on the greatest parenting secret ever. Shhh! Don't tell this juicy tidbit to just anyone, but . . . kids can be bought! Oh, yeah, it is amazing what they will do for "paper money". Coins don't interest them because they get enough of those from the tooth fairy, but you wave a lovely $5 bill in their face and they are yours! It's brilliant!)
Anyhoo, back to the cooling off. Well, the kids are still pretty smitten with our makeshift slip-and-slide, so they grabbed their bathing suits and headed to the hill.
"You're coming too, mom?"
"I sure am!"
Now, if you are in any way affiliated with Sport's Illustrated and let's say you happen to be working on their annual swimsuit edition, I'm surprisingly cheap! Just inbox me, and I'll forward you to my agent, Mr. Level-Headed. I'm sure we can work something out.
|Ahhh! Not the arms! Anything but the arms!!|
Not too bad for an ol' mama!
The kids couldn't stop laughing after they saw me ease myself onto the tarp. This made no sense at all to them because "you go much faster when you have a running start!". Yeah, I can see the grass burns now!
Here's how the pros do it:
I think the best part was seeing Mr. Level-Headed's expression when the kids greeted him after work with "mommy, went on the slip-and-slide!".
To which I replied: "yeah, I'm cool like that".