MAY 21st | TODAY IS:

NATIONAL TAKE YOUR PARENTS TO THE PLAYGROUND DAY – I cannot remember the last time I played at a playground. It was likely when my kids were little and it was rare even then. As a stay-at-home mom for the first six years of parenthood, our frequent visits to various playgrounds gave me a brief respite from any further loss of energy. I would gladly sit on a bench while watching them run from slide to swing to monkey bars.

Upon reflection, I might have had it all wrong. The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transformed or transferred. Please bear with me and my geekiness.

On a summer evening many years ago, I was not at a playground but in the soccer pitch beside the playground. Several families from our neighbourhood were all gathered in our backyard for a weekly Friday night BBQ. This particular night I decided to go and play with all the kids in the park.

I was chased around the grassy field by ten or twelve kids, pulling kids down with me and being piled on by most of them. I was dirty, exhausted, and sweaty but filled with exuberance from lots of smiles and laughter. The other adults all sat on the backyard deck, consuming beverages and chatting.

I specifically remember wondering why aren’t any of the others parents noticing how much fun we are having and joining in? I realized then that play is a choice.

Play is uncomfortable for many people but I guarantee that while you are playing it is nearly impossible to focus on what’s wrong with the world. Play doesn’t destroy energy. It transforms it into positive emotions.

But more importantly, there will be incredible love and joy transferred to a child when you truly play with them.

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