Friday, September 14, 2012

Play. That Is All.

"I'll buy you anything you want.  Sky's the limit", my brother told my 4.5 year old.  Her eyes lit up like was heaven on earth as she decided upon two new costumes.  One was for an astronaut and the other a doctor.  Days later, I endured real injuries from all of the fake falls I took so she could nurse (or doctor) me back to health.

Next was "I want to play the xylophone".  I've always known she has an ear for music, as her absolute favorite lyric is "California Gurls, we're unforgettable... daisy dukes, bikinis on top", but her asking for a xylophone caught me by surprise.  What then surprised me even more was when she cried, a mere five hours later, distraught because my husband had not yet purchased her said xylophone.

It is impossible for parents not to wonder who their children will be as adults.  I'm sure my mother could never in a million years have imagined that I would be where I am now, figuratively or literally.  I'd be lying if I said that seeing my pre-schooler in scrubs didn't make me proud or that I didn't call my mother immediately after the xylophone request, but my reasons for doing so weren't motivated by pressure or expectation I put upon either of us.  It was purely just to share in her joy.

As children we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up.  As teens many of us go out of our way to break the rules so we can feel more like grown ups.  Then as young adults, when the time is finally upon our doorstep, we don't want to let it in for fear that we will get old too quickly.

This poem, by Anita Wadley, is posted at the entrance to my daughter's classroom.  I thought it definitely deserved the share.  I hope you read it, enjoy it, and then go play.