This past weekend, my boys decided to explore the depths of the playroom closet. The closet itself has a bunch of random stuff in it – everything from toys the boys are not old enough for to spare gift wrapping supplies. It probably needs a Marie Kondo once over – but out of sight, out of mind. As they explored, they came across a metal case. I swear that case was on a high shelf, but somehow they got it down and brought it out into the playroom so they could mine its contents. One by one they took out rolls of packaged circles – red, blue, white and green. “Look at these rolly thingys! How cool!” one exclaimed.
Eventually, I put down the clothes I was folding and walked into the playroom to see three eager little boys crouched around a sea of wrappers and poker chips. “Mommy, we have to get our store up and running so we can go on a trip!” they eagerly explained. I sighed deeply at the mess, and then turned and walked back to my folding. For hours they played with these poker chips and the metal case they came from. They moved the chips from room to room. The chips went from money in a store to treasure on a campout to cool things they could watch roll along the floor until they toppled over. And for once in a long while, the TV went untouched all weekend.
To be honest, I am a neat person at work, but at home being neat and organized takes effort for me. And, as an adult, it’s an effort I make consistently. I also find, however, that it’s even more of an effort for three little boys. I can feel my frustration mount as I clean and they destroy again and again. But then, there are times like these when I stop and notice the world they are creating not only in their own imaginations but together as a team. And I remind myself that this part is important too. Fred Rogers once wrote: “When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”
How will we let not only our children’s but our own creative spirit fill us with joy today?