- Family and Parenting»
Making Memories Grandchildren Remember!
Freedom at Play
I have been making a conscious effort to simplify my life. Less shopping, more time at home reading and writing, and learning to live large without spending a fortune. I am convinced that contentment is a heart issue, and I am choosing to practice spontaneity. Recently, I attended one of the best parties I have been to in quite some time. No invitations were sent out, they originated in the heart of one person who needed to play, namely me. My granddaughter and I, after a "sleepover", were headed to meet mom for a swimming lesson. We made an on the way getaway to a beautiful park, Majestic View, We were the first to arrive, and we became the hostesses by default, welcoming everyone that joined us warmly. Although it wasn't planned, it shortly became a special occasion.
Within ten minutes of our arrival, other children showed up, in a half hour there were twenty-something with their thirty-something mothers. Let the good times roll! They played, they ran, swang, slid, crawled, climbed, and hung. There was a flow to it all, that flooded my heart with memories of days past. While talking to one of the moms, I found tears emerging in my eyes. I had forgotten how fun parties really were, and how uncomplicated life could be when we truly engage outside of our comfort zone.
At a playground, with children, and their mothers, sisters and brothers, I made another discovery. People really do want to care about each other. We have so much to learn. Kids know how to make friends, they see chances everyday, everywhere. Children can be carefree and don't need the latest technology to have fun. When they fall down, with a little encouragement, they get back up to play. They help each other get up to the higher places that they can't reach on their own, and they ask for help when they can't figure it out. When one starts crying, all attention goes towards the one that is having a problem. Sometimes the crying spreads like an epidemic when one gets started, but do you think they worry about who might see them? That's why they are healthy, they let frustration out and move on to have more fun.
Kids don't just find solutions, they invent them, with attention, and cameraderie, and sometimes homemade chocolate chip cookies. Kids just know who has the goods, whether it's Mom or Dad, or Gramma or Grampa, or a friend's mom, and they'll ask for you if you are too shy. Most kids love to share, adults assume they don't and remind them they must. They don't expect anything back for the gifts, and they laugh so easily, even when they are embarassed. Kids also know when they are being ignored, so watch them play--they won't be this small for long. I observed a 2 year old who was inseparable from her play cell phone, it seemed to be the only thing that gave her comfort. Hmmmm interesting isn't it; her mother was doing the same. At any rate, at the end of my party at the park, I left happy with my heart full, and I hadn't even eaten anything. Everything I observed though, gave me much food for thought. I smiled at the possiblities.
I think we don't always realize what true joy is until we are set out to please others in a healthy way. I found it in the most interesting place on a beautiful fall afternoon, and it didn't cost anything but my time, which was well spent and a simple gift that as my husband pointed out later, "builds memories that last."