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Time to Play

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

My boys are getting big sure enough. I look at them and marvel at it everyday.

As most things with kids go, I'm learning, the marvel turns bittersweet accompanied by an overwhelming desire to grab them into my lap and cuddle them to death.

I think all the time about what they will remember about these years. Will it be good? Will it be bad? And just like that kid-bucket list it makes me check myself to make sure I'm doing things right.

What will they remember about me?

Probably that I cleaned a lot. That I stood in the kitchen cooking and washing dishes. Maybe baking cookies. Running downstairs with dirty laundry and running upstairs with stacks of clean towels.

Ah, that would be sweet to remember me doing that sort of thing, but that's not what I want them to remember. That stuff sucks.

That's what I was thinking about as I was sweeping Saturday morning. I put down the broom and declared "WE'RE GOING SWIMMING!"

The boys leaped off the couches and scrambling for their trunks. The clean towels came back downstairs and into the car.

We spent the next 3 hours playing at the pool. We played sharks and anaconda. We raced for diving sticks. I let them make up the rules and played along. We played and played and played until our fingers were wrinkly and our musces were sore.

I gave them wet kisses and we laughed.

I looked up at the side where a line of mothers sat knitting or texting in plastic chairs. There wasn't a single mother in the pool except for me. I felt sad for them.

If you haven't played pretend in awhile, I highly recommend it. I think it's okay to not be an adult for awhile. It's a great stress reliever. It feels oh, so good.

And, it's what bonds children to their parents. I'm pretty sure cleaning doesn't do that.

Playing is at the top of my kid-bucket list. It's something I'm going to work harder at and make time for. I hope it's at least one of the things my kids remember about me.


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There is so much wisdom in this blog post. My kid is now to the point that she doesn’t want to do stuff with us as much any more. Get in the pool!

It takes us way too long to figure out that a clean house doesn’t matter. I played with my 15-year-old at the lake this summer for more than an hour - going down and touching the bottom, somersault contests, races with all the different strokes. It was the best time and I was exhausted when we finally quit.

Yeah, I’m giving myself a “Good Enough” pass on the house and I’m going to play at every opportunity. It’s my New Years resolution.

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