Balance. A beautiful concept that can be a bit of a challenge, especially for Moms. At 44 years young, I am learning that somewhere along the line, I kind of forgot how to play. I know how to focus, buckle down, and like any good Midwesterner, I am a hard worker. Over the last few years I have had a second son, created my 8th DVD, taught classes and workshops, and wrote a book. I give my energy to my family from the deepest part of my heart, and love to share my work with pregnant and new Moms. Recently, my family had an opportunity to take a 10 day trip, and I remember how to PLAY!
As a Mom of 2, I play board games, run around the park making sure no one falls, and sing lots of silly songs. This to me is a level of play, but not the real deal, Holyfield. I hit the jackpot when we went on our vacation at an Air B & B home in Santa Barbara. The home is located steps from the beach, has a pool with an inflatable swan, a billiard table, and a trampoline. Where to start? SO many options awaited.
My first inclination was to take the kids to the beach. Sadly, the beach had a tremendous amount of tar and oil, as well as a dead seal. Seals are playful animals and I was so sad to see that this beach was sick from pollution and that the most beautiful expression of play had passed away. I made it a point to let our older son know that we would come back to help clean the beach later, and I felt a soul reminder that it was time to play and share fun energy with my family. As soon as we returned to the house again, I was on the trampoline. Bouncing, bouncing, and up in the air! My husband taught us all how to play popcorn, and we bounced and bounced trying to get everyone to pop like popcorn on the trampoline.
Then my baby Nico, who is 20 months yelled ‘agua, agua!’ and he jumped into the pool with all of his clothes on. I jumped in right after him to keep him safe (he knows how to swim, but just for a few seconds), and when I lifted him up he was smiling and laughing and said ‘me, agua, me agua!’ His Spanglish is stellar and he was telling us he was in the water. This turned into a 30 minute splashing, silly pool session involving a lot of yelling Kawabunga.
The rest of the trip was magical. We rode a 5 person bicycle, went to the zoo, checked out the pier and aquarium, and of course spent hours on the trampoline. The spirit of play had been restored in a profound way, and it’s a great reminder to build it into my day, and not just save the good stuff for vacation. We still sing songs and run around the park, but now I’m more present as a participant, and not just the mom. I’m on the swings with my boys, and making them giggle as I try my best to do the monkey bars. There are windows of time throughout the day that allow for us to be silly and have fun, and if we are really lucky, a belly laugh or two.