We spent the weekend cleaning and organizing our home. Carolyn was working inside while I worked on the yard.
Our property sits on a hillside covered in trees. The leaves and pine needles from two seasons have covered our property in three inches of muck. I spent the day raking and moving large piles of semi-decomposed material around the yard so they can be burnt over the next few months. I enlisted the help of my son for the project and he worked well within his five-year-old attention span--about five minutes on and an hour off. After helping me drag a tarp full of leaves accross the yard he said, "Hey Dad, do you want to go on the tire swing with me?"
"No buddy, I've got a lot of..."
In that moment I realized that I'm always finding time to work or to act like I'm working, but I have forgotten how to play. My son does not need any excuse to play. He can make a game or imaginative adventure out of anything. He turns a box into a pirate ship, a stick into sword, a few pieces of scrap wood into a space ship, a blanket into a tent in the mountains.
His actions are childish, because he's a child. But there are some things that my son does a lot more than I do. He smiles more, laughs more, wonders more, creates more. He see the world as a wonderful source of beauty and adventure. I struggle to see it without asking how much everything costs, if we have the time, if I have to work that day.
So, I'm adding something to this journey. I'm going to figure out how to live life a little more like my son.
BTW we apent the next half hour on the tire swing, it was worth every minute of it!
**Edited to add this from Carolyn**
I just have to add that while Matt was writing this- I was finally relaxing on the couch with a piece of pumpkin bread and some chai. Then Wyatt approached me with a craft book in hand, saying, "Can we do something out of this book, mom?"
Well, my first reaction was "Hey bud, I'm trying to relax here." Then after a few second of watching his little face drop in dissappointment, decided to flip through the book with him. He wasnted to do the activity where you fill glasses with different amounts of water then play them like a xylophone. I was ready to say no- it's almost bed time after all. But I just said yes, put my goodies down and set it up for him and his sister.
Then he wanted to make boats out of foil and float them in the sink. I caved on that one too and as I watched them play together, I realized I put them off so much. I always think things are going to be a problem, but really- the things they want to do are simple. It's me whos complicated.