Today’s topic: JOIN
The pool was still icy cold, but I bounded down the steps and in anyway. The minute my breath was sucked away by the cold she quickly laid out the plan. Her name is Angelina and she’s a mermaid I find at the beach. She’s a young girl and I’m a young girl and my name is Pen and we become friends but my parents don’t want me to be friends with a mermaid. She gives me an orange sparkly pretend fin to wear that lets me swim like her and has the magical powers that also let me breathe underwater. We swim and we pretend and then Angelina’s family moves her to another ocean in Hawaii and she wants Pen to come visit someday but it’s too far and too much money to go.
We play and we pretend and we play some more and one day we have a snack bar in the neighborhood.
The tractor was covered in dew from the morning which made all the dirt extra dirty which he loved. He climbed up and climbed in and climbed around it telling me where to go and what to do and where to sit. He decided he had to do work on the tractor so he pretended to fix a headlight and wipe it down and I still had to just sit in the front seat because that’s what he told me to do. Then a dump truck drove by and he was covered in dirt and I had on white pants, but I knew it would make his entire day to watch the truck dump out the old asphalt. So I sat him on my lap and got dirt all over my white pants and we watched as God gave him the coolest bulldozer and dump truck show an almost three-year old could want.
We play and we pretend and we play some more and another day we have a neighborhood car wash.
This parenting thing is so much harder and easier and enjoyable than anyone can tell you to expect. The disciplining is hard and the intentionality of molding is hard and the character-building is hard. But the reward of all the hard is the joining in we have the privilege to experience with them. It’s a gift to be invited into their play and be an equal participant and yet sometimes I forget that. And as I watch my girl grow up and develop her own website and become a full-fledged tween, I realize if I don’t join in now she’ll never ask me to join in later. And if I don’t get dirty with him now he’ll get dirty with someone else later. So everything else stops and has to wait because right here, right now, I’m joining in and cashing in on the rewards I’ve earned so far. And it’s worth every bit of it.