I was able to head "home" for the weekend for a quick visit with my husband and all my siblings and their spouses to surprise my Dad for his birthday. It was so precious to be all together without our kids, and to reminise being kids ourselves...something that I don't think has ever happened with all my siblings being adults.
Funny how we as adults can just go back to being kids again when we are all together. My mom bought cold cereal and ice cream like she would have while we were under her roof. It was adorable.
Reflecting on what it felt like to be a child, with all those floods of memories and funny stories, reminded me that kids are kids. And meant to be kids. Not adults-in-training. I grew up in a house full of play....and looking back...hard work and education felt like play to us. Learning how to create an awesome history project was play. Music lessons were play. Learning French was play. Even math practice was play (up to a certain point:). And our creative free time was just as much learning as play.
Being home reminded me that education and learning was such a vital part of my parents' parenting style.. But it was hidden in a family culture of expecting excellence as well as creative play. I grew up with parents who are truly children at heart and were so curious about the world in a playful way, yet my father has degrees from Cambridge, Oxford, among others. It's something that I want to achieve as a parent....to let them play. And to not forget that children are children and through playing and fostering curiosity, they will learn and absorb the entire world around them.
Whoever wants to understand much must play much.
- Gottfried Benn
It's also important for me to let go of that tendency I have to feel those pressures of adult life, and remember to play myself. The mind is full of expansion when we are open and curious, always learning. The world is still my playground, and I hope to never....not ever....loose that sense of wonder.