I’m going to let you in on a secret. I do not like playing with kids.
I know. I’m sorry. I used to love playing when I was little. But, now that I think about it, I liked playing alone the best. I don’t think I’ve ever liked playing with kids, even when I was one. Feel free to psychoanalyze that!
When I try to be a good mom and sit down on the floor to play doll-house or Barbies or whatever, I last about 7 minutes. Then I suddenly remember that I’ve been meaning to look up something online, or re-organize my makeup drawer, or read a book, or take a nap.
The other day in the elementary school library I saw a poster that said “Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are the most important work.”
And I get that people, I do! My children are beautiful, smart, hilarious, special beings, just like yours. I totally get that I should be playing games with them and helping them to develop their creative thinking skills. I just can’t tolerate it for more than 7 minutes at a time.
But that same day in the school library, I watched the librarian greet every child and listen to whatever story every kid wanted to tell her, and EVERY kid wanted to tell her a story.
I gave a silent prayer of thanks for this woman and her amazing skill for nurturing children.
I am thankful for grandparents who play tea party for hours, and neighbors who break out flour and water for all the kids to make some sort of messy goop. I’m thankful for elementary teachers that spend countless hours and more of their own money than any other profession to nurture and grow our children.
I give thanks for all the people in our lives who find joy in our children and remind me to do the same. I will remind myself to just sit and play more often, and I will give thanks for children- the most beautiful, most challenging, and most important work there is.