Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

The Power of ‘Play’

I don’t know about you, but I like playing around. Oh….not that kind of playing around. This is a wholesome, family friendly blog. I am referring to the power of ‘play’ in our lives. While there is a time to be serious, God-fearing, tax-paying adults….there are those moments when a person just needs to be goofy.

Like this week. I played an old, bitter, mean teacher named ‘Miss Sickentired’, complete with a gray wig, big dress stuffed with bed pillows, and old knee-high hose down around my ankles. “Why would anyone do such a thing?” you might ask. Simple. It was for a pep session for 6th, 7th and 8th graders and after weeks of testing they needed to laugh. And I needed to play. It was a ball!!

Last weekend, my four children and their families created a Mother’s Day for me I won’t soon forget. All kids were present and accounted for and that in itself is a joyous occasion. Or in other words: time to play. Part of my gift was that they hired this photographer to come and ‘capture’ our family. Now, if you know my family, that is an assignment! One of the things I wanted this sweet gal to ‘shoot’ was our family gathering game of ‘hot box’ or ‘pickle’ as it is called. It consists of two bases, two of my sons pitching and catching the ball, while the rest of us run to their bases without getting tagged. It is hilarious! And all of us run—from the two year old grandkid to me….the big kid of the bunch. And we fall, and get tagged, and argue, and laugh, and get out of breath. Oh wait…that’s just me.

Perhaps I have some secret need to become a child again; or perhaps it is because I am around kids all the time. At any rate, I do enjoy playing. And I think it is vital that grown-ups put their stuffy selves aside and be silly. Medical science has done in-depth studies on how the ‘bad’ cholesterol numbers, belly fat, and baldness disappears when one engages in riotous playtime. Okay…so I made that up. And if you have seen me anytime lately, you know that is a lie ’cause my belly fat and ‘bad’ cholesterol numbers haven’t exactly disappeared. Not bald yet, so maybe there is hope.

But back to the topic of playing. Do you play? If I have any regrets as a mother, it is that I did not play enough with my sons and daughters. Did I forego crawling into the blanket forts because I was mopping a floor? Was I too busy talking on the phone to join them in a game of kickball? Or too worried about the monthly bills to join them in hide and seek? If so, I failed them miserably.

Now…I do recall standing in line for my turn to try out the rope swing which allowed one and all to swing out over the creek on Pleasant Run. And letting my oldest son trail me on his bike, where-in I would stand on his ‘pegs’. That fun ended when the bike was stolen. And of course, there was–and is—Halloween and yes, I still dress up and trick or treat. The gorilla costume is my favorite.

Life is too short not to play. There is pure joy in laying our images aside and recapturing our lost selves that told ‘knock-knock’ jokes and giggled without end. Whether catching lightning bugs or having a pillow fight; squirting your offspring with water guns–I give you permission to play.

The next time someone asks that time-honored question of childhood: “Can you play?” don’t miss it!

There is, indeed, power in ‘play’.

Play holds such power!


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