these guys are a whopping 5 and 3 years old. their job is to play. they're supposed to make messes- like big ones. they need to run and jump, laugh out loud and squeal with joy. they have freedom from life responsibilities and should only have demands like putting shoes away and remembering to brush both their top and bottom teeth. they're little enough to think that camping in a tent (in our toy room) is pretty much a magical adventure. they think dragons are real and hope to run into a real t rex whenever we're at the science museum. they think lego building really looks like stuff from real life. they believe pretend food really can fill them up and they giggle while hiding behind a chair, and sincerely believe i don't know they're there. they're young enough to believe locking our doors keeps out actual monsters at night and that justin can literally turn into a steam roller and flatten them if they don't jump out of the way quick enough. it. is. amazing. they believe that all dreams can be achieved, anything is possible and a kiss from me can magically take pain away. childhood is a beautiful thing.
the truth is i can loose my patience when i need it most, repeated requests can get yelled, and giving a child one on one "face time" can be a rather large challenge. i think the true catch in parenting is stepping back. oh how tricky this simply thing is to do!! realizing the boys are five and three make days run a lot smoother, and a heck of a lot happier- sanity even seems to be within my grasp. i know my kids respond best when i don't try to parent "above their age." that can be hard, sometimes i do expect to much of my kids. not surprisingly when i remember who my kids are, their strengths and weaknesses, can help anticipate fights and conflict before it happens. do or can i parent perfectly? oh heaven's no, i'm pretty sure i figured that out the day i brought brody home from the hospital! but realizing one of the parenting "catches" certainly helps me.
the serious work of play.