Its been a long time since I have written anything, partly due to trying to take care of a now 16 month old but also because I was not sure exactly what I wanted to write about.
But on this glorious end of summer day, I am sitting in the backyard watching my daughter and wanted to write about what I saw. She was just walking around the yard and picked up a plastic corn on the cob and the wand portion of a bubble set. Then she added a mesh bag with two tea cups in it. Shortly after she decided to add a doll and a plastic tomato. She struggled to hold all of these items at once, and without fail, each time she went to grab the 5th item, one of the others would fall. Finally I could not take it any longer and went over to give her a small bucket. I showed her that she could put the tomato, corn and the wand in there and that way she would be able to carry the mesh bag and her doll as well.
Well in the last 45 minutes there have been a countless number of times that the items have fallen out of the bucket, new items were added and therefor the others fell and everything is constantly being rearranged in her hands in different combinations. Honostly it is really painful to watch! Because in my mind there must be an end goal she has, a destination that she wants to get to with all of these things so that she can finally start playing.
But in all this time there has not been one ounce of frustration or impatience despite all the complications. And I am realizing that she has no end goal in mind, she isn’t trying to gather all these things so she can go somewhere and play. The play for her is figuring out what she can carry, and in how many different variations.
So often as parents we want to remove the struggle, help the child to complete a task so they can enjoy and have “fun” but really it is often the struggle, the figuring out how to complete something that is their fun! I have heard of course the saying that childrens play is their work but I have never seen it so clearly as today! And this of course makes me think about how as an adult I want life to be smooth and easy. But when I look back, some of the best things have come out of struggle. Now if only I can successfully apply this into sticking to a gym routine!