Swing Set Play

This little girl and her swing set... This child would stay at the bottom of our yard all day playing on that swing set.  Only current problem, she wants me to push her the entire time she is on it.  While having one little one, as a mommy I have to learn to do two things well.  

One, I have to spend a lot of extra time entertaining and playing companion.  My ultimate job as mommy is to be mommy.  It is my responsibility to set rules and guidelines, but when it is just the two of us at home, I also have the responsibility of creating some fun!  Being almost three, it is such a joy to watch her imagination start to go to work and create "fun games" all on her own.  More or less, I am simply there to be a participant in these games and help provide some extra laughs and giggles.

On the other hand, it is is also my responsibility to let her spend some time playing on her own.  This is currently our biggest struggle.  Independent play can be a big challenge when she sees mommy so close by and doesn't understand why I don't always join in on the fun.  Dinner prep is often interrupted with this little voice of "Mommy come pway, stop making dinner, come pway."  It is so incredibly sweet and also incredibly challenging.  Not "going to play" often leans to some sort of small tantrum until she pouts off and eventually decides to play by herself.   This is often followed by some guilt on my end for not being her constant companion.  

However, the more we work through this routine and the more she stomps off on her own, the more independent she becomes.  The more her imagination takes shape.  Next thing I know she has picked up a few rocks and sticks and created a game that is more exciting than anything mommy could have dreamed up.  It is so fascinating to watch her little mind at work and I absolutely enjoy hearing all of the exciting things she has seen and done, even more thrilling to watch the emotion on her face as she tells the tale of her creativity.

In fact, I can't help but realize how instead of teaching her how to play and use creativity, she has taught me how to revitalize these aspects in my own life.  We could all take a page out of the book of a toddler and enjoy the little things a little more each day.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.  When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.
Sophia Loren