How to Play

One thing I’ve noticed of late is the longer I’m married and the older my kids get, the harder it is to relate to unmarried people, or people with no kids. I imagine it’s like that for everyone. Single people talk about things like the latest movies, or what they did over the weekend. You can’t really relate because you haven’t been to the movies in a year, and what you usually do on the weekend is laundry and grocery shopping because both you and your wife work all week.

What is fun is getting together with other people in the same place as yourself and telling “my kid” stories–because one thing kids are is funny. My 18 month old, for instance. Time Warner has a channel here (2), which shows slides for local businesses and services while playing classic and current pop music, interspersed with the occasional classic rock tune. John likes to change it there and listen to the music while he watches the slides. Yesterday he was rocking out to Careless Whisper by Wham!

My older son was talking about something last night he called his “wiener-titty” and it was all I could do to stay composed long enough to figure out he meant “nipple.” I don’t remember why he mentioned it.

Married couples with kids have tons of stories like this, and you need to hear them to balance out the terror and uncertainty of child-rearing. Make no mistake, as hard as baby-sitting might seem at times, it ain’t got nothing on being a full-time parent, especially a stay at home parent. I only do that once in a while when I have time off and at the end of the day I just want to hang out with my wife for a little while and talk about things that aren’t about video games or cartoons.

My boys have so much energy, and while it’s catching for the first part of the day, usually by about 1500 I feel like Tokyo after Godzilla came through. Sometimes I wonder if they haven’t been to an al Al-Quaeda training camp.

I think I found the problem this morning, after being home with John all day, and David in the afternoon the day before.

I forgot how to play.

In the mess of work, and church, and family, and life, I forgot how to play.

My kids will be happy to teach me again, and I am looking forward to learning.
This morning, God had a word for me when I sat down to read. It may be for you, too.

Enjoy your kids, tiring as they may be. Remember how to play, and wrestle, and throw a ball, and have tea parties, and draw pictures, and color, and get dirty.

Remember how to play.
Life is different now, and that’s OK.