” Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
” A child miseducated is a child lost”
John F. Kennedy
As a five year old in 1968 and an only child, I have many fond memories of playtime, both alone and with a few cousins and neighborhood girls. My best friends were my dolls, of which there were many, but Mrs. Beasley was my favorite. On most Saturdays I would have an elaborate tea party with tiny cheese sandwiches, cookies and chocolate milk. Mrs. Beasley was usually seated on the porch swing smiling as I prepared the table with my tea set and the goodies that my grandmother had prepared. My poor grandfather had the honor of pulling the other doll guest up the walkway in my wagon and wait patiently as I arranged each one around the table.
Thinking about those tea parties on the porch makes me realize why I love to host themed dinner parties and tend to be the one planning my girls weekend activities each month.
The type of play I engaged in as a child involved a great deal of imagination which was usually brought to life in a sense by my loving grandparents. The actually allowed me to scatter hay on the lawn and leave water and carrots outside for Santa’s reindeer. In my opinion today’s youth aren’t encourage to learn how creative they can be if they simply let their imaginations soar.
Share and express emotions. Conduct business. Live life to it’s fullest. Without relationships none of these things would be possible.
My most important relationships are with my immediate family;2 adult daughters, 5 grandchildren, and a husband of 23 years. being an only child I am very private and not so warm and fuzzy. I had to learn being a young parent that sometimes what children need most is a quiet moment just doing very little. My grandchildren get the benefit of a more relaxed fun person than the person that raised their mothers.
My husband is my partner in every sense. We have built a life for our family based on mutual respect and common goals. We have learned to accept the differences in our personalities and up bringing to find common ground. The key, compromise. Watching war movies may not be high on my to-do list, but if he has suffered through a jazz brunch or wine tasting then I get a comfortable seat and good chips and suck it up.
With my girlfriends I’m the therapist. I listen and if they dare ask my opinion it’s usually delivered with very little sugar coating. But being a good listener I get advice without really having to ask. Being kind and neighborly gets my mail picked up and trash set out if I’m out of town, services that are more than worth a homemade treat here and there.
For me, keeping relationships simple and limited works best. Relationships are very hard work, except with children. Young children are little blackboards waiting for the right messages to be impressed upon them. That has always been important to me, but more importantly is having the ability to affect that child’s parent to do whats best for their child.