By Nikki Schaefer, staff writer for The Attached Family
On a rainy day, I took my three-year-old son to the restaurant with the golden arches, thinking that he would love to go down the big slides. He did…one time…then stopped to take a bite of his apple dippers.
I asked him, “Do you want to go down the slides again?”
“No,” he replied emphatically. “All done!”
He began to gobble down a few more slices. Having trouble believing that a child would not want to play in Playland, I asked him again, “Do you want to go down the slides?”
“NO,” he said, “ALL DONE!”
He began to run around in circles yelling, “Circle! Circle!” His blond curls bobbed up and down with a toothy smile across his face as he continued to run around, over and over again.
Amused, I watched my son closely. “This is why I love being a mom,” I thought. “What a joy it is to watch this little person take such delight in something so simple.”
It was in that instance I was reminded that, it is not in the jungle gyms of life but in the daily cycles of being where the greatest joys are found.
In a culture that teaches that a child needs Disneyland, a dance class, and a soccer team at age three to find satisfaction, my child reminded me that what he needs most is the space to “be.” My call as a mother of a young child is to allow him the freedom to run, spin, laugh, dance, chase a bug, touch the rain, paint a mural, or just “be.” My job is to create the margins in my life to hold him, talk to him, delight in him, mend an ouchie, pour a glass of milk, and share the wonders of God.
Sometimes, the Playlands of life have their place. It is good to get out of the house, move our bodies, change the scene, and experience some of the greater amusements…from time to time. Yet, instead of always ordering the Big Macs, we are called to “supersize the ordinary.” By consciously choosing not to focus on the highs of life, but instead on the simple moments, we as parents choose a love for our families that is extraordinary indeed.
My call as a mother of a young child is to allow him the freedom to run, spin, laugh, dance, chase a bug, touch the rain, paint a mural, or just “be.”