Where we live there is an elementary school right behind us. All day every day N begs me to go over there and play, but every day I remind him that we can't go over there while the kids are in school. The kids are more than half the reason he wants to go in the first place. But, we usually end up going over there later in the afternoon just about every day. I do love having a park in walking distance.
Today when we went we were the only ones there. Most of the time I had to entertain C and try to keep her happy, which isn't always the easiest thing with Miss Attitude. But when we were just about done, I had a burst of energy. I strapped C in her stroller and started up a game of tag with N on the playground. He, of course, was thrilled with the spontaneous game. He squealed with delight as I got down and dirty, chasing him over monkey bars, crawling through tubes, and going down slides. After he'd get tagged by me, I would try to run away from him, which turned out to be harder than I thought. Not only did he love it, but I was happy to find that I had a ball too. It was so much fun. I felt like a kid again. Isn't that one of the great things about being a Mom? Being a grown-up can be so boring sometimes. It's nice that Moms and Dads get to revert back to their childhood now and then.
Usually, I'm one of those boring grown-ups. I'd rather sit on a bench for some much deserved rest while I watch N run around and get tired. But today I heard a voice in my head suggest getting off my lazy you-know-what and actually playing with my son. Hmmm, what a novel idea. I knew that doing that would make him feel happy and loved, so how could I resist doing it?
Doing something fun with your kids that you BOTH enjoy doing is so important. It makes them feel special and it strengthens the bond between you. I stressed the fact that it be something you both enjoy doing because I think that's major. Frankly, when N asks if I'll play dinosaurs with him, I can think of about a million other things I'd much rather do. Likewise, sometimes N doesn't want to do what I want to do. Having that kind of playtime with your kids only creates resentment, which is hardly condussive for a loving relationship. So, make sure you choose activities you both enjoy. Another other good thing about that is I think it will teach your kids not be selfish- that they need to respect other people's likes and dislikes.
Wow, this post is getting longer than I intended. My main reason for posting was to challenge all of my readers (and myself, of course) to get up and play with your kids when you usually just observe. Get really into it too, and you'll be surprised how much fun you'll have.
By the way, at dinner I asked N what his favorite part of today was (he had a fun-filled day of playing with neighbors, looking for bugs, splashing in puddles, and "shooting" with his toy gun), and he said "playing tag at the park." Aaaaah, that was good for my heart.