Sometimes when what you love to do becomes your work, you have to stop and remember the playful, joyous part of it. Having a 2 year old pretty much guarantees that playing will happen, and often.
I’ve been looking at this guy, an artist and a dad who seems to have retained a very free sense of play. First I resented him, for seeming to just flow with great ideas and energy and amazing execution- really, how dare he! Then I remembered that life-lesson I ALWAYS forget- when you find yourself envious, emulate and admire instead. So, lesson learned…again. And I got inspired to find ways to play with Mena that would excite us both.
The other day I was about to toss a tissue box. I loved the pattern- cheery dots. I cut it up and taped it together and made Mena a little house. She was thrilled! She rounded up a few small animal toys and tried gamely to get them in, but they were still too big. Still, she was clearly smitten with the house.
Yesterday I had another thought. I have a stack of business cards with outdated info on them I’ve been using as scrap paper. I grabbed bunch of them and started drawing people. A mommy, a daddy, and the always popular baby. I cut them out, leaving tabs at the bottom that I curled into ring-stands and taped- easy. Mena was enchanted- the people fit into the house, plus she could color them. She demanded more people, more babies, dogs. Soon the whole family was participating- Mommy and Daddy drew, Mena colored and arranged them in the house.
Later that day, Cecil told me she came up to him, showed him a handful of the little people and said proudly-‘Daddy, I MAKE!’. Which to me, is a pretty swell thing.