I remembered how to play with my kid today
or how I became the monster truck sand squasher of the universe.
I’m not sure when it happened. Somewhere between sweet baby number 1 and sweet baby number 5, this mama forgot how to play. It was a slow fade. In fact, it was so lost in small doses that I didn’t really notice that my ability was gone. Oh sure, I could still sit for a minute or two to help build a block tower or run a marble down a track a couple of times while simultaneously creating a dinner menu in my brain or processing the pros and cons of the latest math curriculum I looked at. I got really good at sounding very enthusiastic while saying “Oh, cool!” and “That’s awesome!” the hundred times a day my kids wanted to show me what they were playing and trying to convince myself that they were perfectly content with my approval denying the obvious fact that they were actually inviting me in. On occasion my children could talk me into sitting under the giant oak tree for a bit to watch them jump on the trampoline and, maybe, just maybe I would join them on it only long enough to lie down and stare at the blue sky and wish I could just fall asleep. I can’t remember the last time I actually jumped on it, though…even once. To lessen the guilt that I carried I would throw in some crazy mom moments here and there by surprising them with a random idea of fun and really try to play but it always ended much sooner than I know they would have liked and it felt unnatural and completely boring to me despite my feeble attempts at making it look like I was having fun.