Random Saturdays – Playing, You’re Doing It Wrong

I get that phrases like the above are hip on the webernet, but you have no idea how much energy it took to keep me from correcting the grammar in the title of this post.  Moving on now…

Spring Break for most of the DFW metroplex just passed.  This meant that there was alot of talk at work and online about people’s plans with their kids and arrangements made at work to care for these kids.  Ben worked from home all week.  We talked about how we wished that we could’ve taken time off to take the kids somewhere and that we hoped that we’d be able to do that sometime in the next few years.

ME — I wish we could’ve taken them somewhere fun.
BEN — Yeah, me too.
*At the same time*
BEN — Somewhere like Disneyland.
ME — Somewhere like Disneyworld.
BEN — Disneyland’s cheaper.
ME — Isn’t that because Disneyland sucks more?
BEN — It’s still Disneyland.  It’s all cheaper than Universal Studios.
ME — I don’t care about any of it.  I just want to go to
BEN & ME — Harry Potter Land

He knows how I roll.

Erica told me about her step-son sleeping in past 10 am.  I told her about this big box that we kept when Ben got his replacement tool chest.  I saw it and immediately thought about the kids being able to use it to pretend it was a house or a rocket ship or something.  (Erica and I used to sit in her grandma’s closet, our backs on the floor and our legs on the walls, pretending that we were blasting off into space.)  After weeks of telling the kids about this box, they finally paid attention to me.  “Can we decorate it?” “We can cut windows into it!”  “We can make it a season box and decorate it differently each season!”  (The season idea is an off-shoot of our fake Christmas tree upstairs that we are keeping out and decorating for each season, an idea I stole from my friend, Jennifer, who is no longer allowed to talk to me after I called out her husband on some disrespectful stuff he did to her on Facebook, but that’s another story…)

Erica and I started talking about what we used to do on spring break and all the different ways we used to play.  We jokingly wished that we were still kids so that we could show all these kids how to really play.  We grew up with computers, video games, and t.v., but we mostly used all of that as a bouncing board for our imaginations.

I remember watching something about history on Muppet Babies and learning about explorers that landed in The Americas in school.  Erica and I made up a game where we explored her grandma’s den and landed on different countries/furniture to claim it for different countries.  Amanda, her little brother, and I used to make up elaborate dances to The Little Mermaid soundtrack.  Temika and I used to make up accents and words that cracked us up while we cooked and did dishes.

That’s not to say that the kids in our lives now have no imagination.  It’s just that it takes a little longer to get them going and the starting points for their imaginations is very different from our generation.  Then again, I think about how depressed I was at the age of 17, stressed about trying to find financial aid so that I could go to a school as far away from my parents as possible while trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  At 17, my grandfather lived and worked on the family farm and was dividing his time between building the cement porch for their house and chopping down cedar trees to build the cedar chest that I now have in my bedroom.  As with everything, I suppose that it’s really all about perspective.  I’m just thankful that these kids are even willing to play outside and get excited about an empty box, even if it takes a little mental prodding sometimes.

With that, I thank you for reading and wish you all a happy spring!

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