Friday, April 10, 2009
Pirates and Sinking Ships
If you come to my home you'll pick your way through the creative minds of children. The first stop is the laundry room and pantry. The pantry's canned goods are towers of a gigantic city. The kitchen table houses playdough creations in various stages of completion, the living room...well, these days it is a pirate ship. There are three major ships: the two couches and one chair. The cushions of the furniture are paths between the ships. My wooden spoons are the swords. My dishtowels, pirate headscarves.
As a mother I do not want to be the creator of fun and games; I want to be the facilitator. I want my children to create and imagine. I want them to problem-solve their own boredom. I do not want them waiting for me to take them places and plug them in to activities. In order for them to get good at play, they need time to practice this art. Time and space.
This is why I let them roam in any room in the house. This is why I refused to be a taxi service, refuse to join Gymboree. My choices are intentional. My results: happy chidren and a happy mom. We have our days when we need to get out and do something, break up the week.
We do playdates, we go to MOPS, we love the library, but we also love our days of just being.
I feel like I'm doing a good job as a mom when my boys have played for two hours straight and haven't come to me once. (Ok, so really, the youngest gets ouchies often and needs a quick kiss, but then he's back at it. And then there is the brotherly wrestle that needs a referee, but....) I love the sounds of their voices at play and wonder.
This is something I strive for. This is why my house is never totally picked up, never perfect. I constantly have to remind myself what the goal of mothering is, and for me it is not a perfect house, it is something more.