Playing ("just" playing) with Em is hard for me sometimes. It's tough to just be and imagine and act silly and repeat the same crazy scenarios.
Like yesterday, we went to a place called "Hunch Punch Vegas" which evidently is like Vegas but with way more lemonade. We drove there and took our babies on vacation like we do at least once a week, but this time we had a picnic at the hotel pool. At least she let me set up our pretty picnic. "Setting up" is the part of play I most enjoy.
I think in motherhood it is so easy to be dragged down by all the stuff... the need to maintain our homes and use time efficiently, the guilt about the things ignored or not done to our own high expectations, that we often forget or CANT FEEL how easy it can be to just let go and play. Not teach, not learn....not do... not create, not practice or perform, just play.
I was thinking about it yesterday while we were playing... what was so hard about it to me at that moment and I found myself feeling like I needed to fill the space. Fill it with dialogue, ideas, conversation and it was exhausting.
So I told myself to let Ember take the lead. I didn't need to create and host the play or run myself ragged keeping up with her speed. I let her dream it up and control the dialogue. I took a back seat, sipped my coffee and enjoyed my baby. I did what I wanted to... and it was way easier.
All she needed was my presence and willingness to be apart of it. To put everything down including my phone (she did let me go get it to take this photo but I put it right back 📷) and show her she was most important and so worth that investment of time.
It was a designated chunk of time: only a part of our day and did have an end (which helps me not feel obligated to entertain her all day long). But that designated time couldn't have been better spent than on her, and I could tell that it made her feel valuable.
There's a quote I read awhile ago that I cannot find ANYWHERE. But it said something like "we mustn't force children to live in the world of an adult. we must dare to travel to the world of the child" 🌻... just so freeing and so true.