Play!

kid pic 5As a mom, It was hard for me to engage in 4-year-old fairy kingdoms and Barbie adventures, with bills, dishes, and reports waiting. Although for brief periods, as a teen and young adult, play occasionally burst through,  I largely left it behind in an effort to simply survive in school, work, and life.
 
Bit by bit, my heart screamed loud enough that I listened and entered the journey of my own healing. Through that healing I learned to play. I’ve often heard that we teach the things we need to learn. As I deepened into my quest for play and understanding childhood, I became a Play Therapist.
 
Play turns up in the most amazing places. Look for it everywhere:
  • moments of wonder, such as rainbows, snowflakes, and a baby’s laugh
  • a fleeting wispy thread of imagination
  • a pause to laugh, and maybe roll on the floor
  • dolphins found under the rug – loving laughter at mistakes
  • the sound of a hummingbird in flight or wind in the trees
  • love of the many faces of creativity
  • appreciation of individual choices, quirks, and styles
  • the discovery that play and learning can go hand-in-hand
  • dance while house cleaning or walking down the street

Genuine play rejuvenates and heals. It’s an essential component to wellbeing. The stories that come through play can repair wounds. Between adults and between adults and children, it deepens engagement and connection. As beautifully and comprehensively explained by Kenneth Ginsberg in the journal,   Pediatrics (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182.full), play “gives parents the opportunity to fully engage with their children”.

The United Nations declared that play is a “right” for children. Declare this right not only for our children, but also for ourselves.

If play hasn’t entered your life today, know that there is still time. First take a deep breath into your heart. Remember something you love and wiggle your toes. Be prepared for the unexpected. Let Tinker Bell or Peter Pan sprinkle pixie dust or Batman make a sudden appearance. Keep breathing. Whether there’s amazement, giggles or tears, know that all is well.

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