August 23, 2008

I was tidying up today and came across a small piece of paper on which one of the kids had written, “If you have no food in the wild, eat deer meat.” That was it. It made me chuckle and wonder what on earth they were playing when they wrote that. I mean, that’s weird.

At the same time, I take comfort in finding things like this, and overhearing bits of their imaginative playtimes together. I’ve just listened to a lecture by David Elkind (author of The Hurried Child and other child-development books.) He stresses over and over the importance of “play” for kids, and he laments the lack of it that many children have nowadays. It’s easy to think that play is a waste of time, but he contends that a successful life integrates work, play, and love. And fundamentally, I agree with him. Elkind said something that caught my attention and caused me to “rewind” my ipod to listen again. “Work is when we accommodate ourselves to reality, and play is when we accomodate reality to our needs and demands.” And kids need both to really understand how the world works.

So, leave messages to each other about deer meat, my children! I’ll leave you alone and let you play!


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