The rejuvenating power of play

Deep in conversation

I wanted to follow up on a comment to last week’s post. A woman wrote in to thank me for challenging her assumption: “As a friend with kids, I just always assume my children are annoying people who don’t have kids.”

This assumption – that kids annoy adults who don’t have children – immediately made me think of so many of the women I interviewed talking about their own aunts playing with them or describing their love of playing with the children in their lives. I don’t have any evidence of how widespread this assumption is, but I hope today’s post will help dispel the notion that children always annoy those of us who aren’t parents.

The ways we play
Remember the aunt who made clothes for her niece’s frog? By ensuring that the frog had a proper wardrobe, she was honoring her niece’s desire to play and showing her that playtime was valuable enough for her to contribute her own time and talent. I’m pretty sure I never played with frogs when I was little, but one of my mom’s friends (an unmarried, older lady) always brought me clothes she made for my Barbie. I cannot describe how special I (and my Barbie) felt to have these fabulous clothes. Continue reading