18 October, 2010


I am not the most “out there” kind of person.  I suppose that I express myself through my clothing and my hair – but it is a subtle, relaxed expression of self over the rainbow colored Mohawk I might choose to sport.  My appearance is down to earth and easy going, so it likely surprises no one to see me doing a little shuffle on the sidewalk or singing as I wait for a light (with or without my daughter).  It is about having fun or “playing.”  Where I don’t express myself in vivacious hair styles, I let myself openly play.
This weekend I spent time playing.  
I tinkered with this website – and not being able to create what I wanted, I did just enough damage such that there are buttons that no longer work.  I had a great time playing that I found myself unaware of the passage of time.
Inspired by the gorgeous weather, I tried my hand at light ballet choreography.  I did this by taking a few of the ballet words I know and making them fit as the lyrics to “Be Our Guest…”  
My daughter delighted in this new game – watching me attempt to perform my new dances we walked to Nutcracker rehearsal.  
We played…
I played…
Surrounded by  people and families that schedule their lives and thrive on structure and structured activities… My little family and I colored way outside the lines, defied structure and laughed and giggled and delighted in the combination of word play, music, and dance.  I would love to share a video of our antics; my wonderful grand jette under the blue sky, colored dappled leaves, and the first signs of Fall *sigh* but such a video does not exist.  
Saturday evening, I stood discussing trampolines with another adult.  He explained that he doesn’t jump without the kids.  
“Why?  If you enjoy jumping…?”
Structured world, structured activities, schedules, time frames… I live in an adult world where play is seen to be for kids – even then, it is structured play.  Of course this adult couldn’t take the time to jump on his family’s trampoline – that would be time taken from something else.  What might the neighbors think?  Or maybe, maybe, the idea of jumping, without kids, is scary?
“I play.”  I told him.  “I sing at traffic lights, dance a little, and… play.  Everyone needs to play sometimes.”
And we do – adults and kids alike – we need to play.  We need to let go of the structure and the schedule and have unplanned time.  If unplanned time doesn’t fit into the schedule...Then we need to find time to play as we do our activities.  
Car dancing – Playing
Car singing – Playing
The traffic light shuffle – Playing
Singing the grocery list – Playing
Making grass mazes or designs with the lawn mower – Playing
The kitchen and cooking boogie – playing!!
I understand what it is to have a lot going on; but, I have come to embrace the importance of playing for kids, adults, and families.  I have learned to make play part of our days.  
A week ago I took one of Rob White’s ideas and put it to music.  Using my best operatic voice, I sing “I am prosperous…” and my daughter, never one to miss an opportunity to play, prances through the grass and along the sidewalks matching her grand jette timing to the music.  
It doesn’t take much to play, yet… the feeling during and afterward is priceless.    


LesleyG said...

I think that's a great thing to remember to do.

Sometimes I think I'm waiting for something to happen that'll give me the okay, but that's not true at all, is it?

Sara said...

You must be the most fun parent to be around:~)

Regarding the video of your "play"...it might not be recorded by a machine, but my mind recorded it through your words and watched you dance and sing through your day.

Thanks for sharing this:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi TE .. I agree with Sara .. you must just be so much fun to be around .. isn't it great when we let our hair down .. and the kids can help us do it .. but why don't we do it all the time anyway ..

Love the thought and again as Sara said .. I could see you both doing your dances and your shuffles, and your practices .. great fun .. thanks for giving us a little lightness .. Hilary

giulietta nardone said...

Hi TE,

I'm with you on revolving life around Play! Way more fun. Living outside the lines allows one to feel alive and devote more time to play.

Ditto the others. You seem like a great role model for your daughter to see that adulthood doesn't have to be drudgery.

Thx, G.

Belinda said...

I'm often ready to have fun so playtime speaks to me.

Nice re-design! I need to do that but that's not the kind of play I'm good at.

The Exception said...

There are so many ways of playing. It is funny that we, as adults, think we need kids or permission to do it... and we don't. so... everyone who commented... Go PLAY!!