Monday, September 30, 2013

this weekend: just play

This weekend wasn't really my weekend - I got a migraine late Friday night and proceeded to have a difficult time getting any rest.  It pretty much ruined my Saturday and now, as a result I've developed a pretty bad cough.  But enough about my "I'm sick" sob story.  The fact that I wasn't feeling particularly well and it was raining was enough to keep us in the house all day Sunday.  With my husband in his office reading and studying all day, Ella and I got to enjoy some momma-daughter time and we just played.  I had zero energy to setup any activities or make any suggestions, so I let her take the lead and we played whatever she wanted to play.  First we got out the Play-doh, then crayons and her Pooh coloring book.  We threw plastic balls around the living room, got messy with an ink pad intended for her animal stamps but more often utilized for her hands and fingers, and splashed each other with water while washing our hands.  

I had a great time with her!  But at the same time, I found myself feeling guilty that I hadn't planned some great activity to do with her over the weekend.  Saturday was beautiful and would have been perfect for apple picking, or the petting farm, or a myriad of other things, but a walk to the neighborhood playground was as far from home as we went. 

I was quickly getting hung up in the guilty-parent trap last night when I remembered scanning this article from The Atlantic several years ago.  At the time Ella was just five months old and she couldn't do much of anything without me, but now, I have a child who is most certainly her own person.  I cannot forget the importance of just letting her have time to play, whether we're at home or on the playground. It IS, in fact, extremely important for her to just have time for unstructured play.  So it's OK if I can't fill every morning with a planned activity or every weekend with a fun adventure.  This weekend was a good reminder for me that a day filled with "just" play is definitely OK.  

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