Sometimes it takes a 4 year old to remind us that PLAY is good.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

The above sonnet by William Wordsworth is probably my favorite sonnet of all time. I had to memorize it when I was in high school, and memorize I did. I could recite it at the drop of a hat.  It speaks of the modern world, how we have lost our connection to nature, to what is beautiful and wondrous. We have giving ourselves to technology, too busy to sometimes stop and recognize what is pure and special in this world.

Today, I got that chance.  My nephew is turning 4 years old this Friday. He is a loving and caring boy, who loves life, his momma, his dad, his sister and of course, his aunt Emmy.  He doesn’t start school until September 8 so my sister is kind of – sort of needing some time off from children so she can actually get some work done. (She works from home and typically works early morning or at night). Today, she needed just a couple hours to finish some writing. Enter the aunt. This is not the first time that I have helped her out during the week. I don’t get to do it often but when I can help, I am there, with bells and whistles.

It was beautiful today, so we decided to hit the playground. My nephew is getting much better at swinging so he immediately jumped on the swing and asked me to push him. “Higher Emmy! Higher!” he yelled.  He was pumping his legs so well that I stopped pushing him and just watched him swing. I sat down on the swing next to him and faced the opposite direction so we could see each other. I started to push myself  and pump my legs. The more I pumped, the higher I went. I was flying. I almost thought I was going to swing right over the swing set! It was glorious. The sun was shining. There was a wonderful soft breeze. As I kept swinging, I realized I was thinking about nothing but how good it felt to PLAY. “Keep swinging Emmy,” he would say as I started to slow down. “Swing as high as me.” I pumped my legs a little more and continued to swing. It felt so good to play.

Eventually, another little boy showed up at the playground and at first, my nephew was a little wary of this new boy. However, soon they started to play, throwing the ball back and forth to each other and to me. The little boy’s mom joined in and played with us too. All four of us laughed as we threw the ball to one another, catching it, running after it.  My nephew and the little boy started to chase the mother, who ran around the playground, laughing and screaming as they chased her. It was such an awesome sight.

When the mother and son finally left the playground, my nephew and I continued to play.  We climbed all over the equipment and then decided to play hide-and-seek. Each of us took turns hiding from one another. Every time we “found” each other, we would laugh and scream, each time louder than the last.  We got sillier and sillier with our hiding places. Finally, it was time to head home for lunch as we were both hungry and needed to use the bathroom. 🙂  As he took my hand to cross the street, my nephew said, “That was so much fun Emmy. We were on the swings, then we played ball, then we played hide-and-seek. That was really good.” “Yes, it was fun,” I said smiling. “I have so much fun with you.”

Sometimes it takes a 4 year old to remind us that PLAY is good.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes it takes a 4 year old to remind us that PLAY is good.”

  1. How fortunate your sweet nephew gets so much TLC from his Auntie Em!!! You are a wonderful educator and he will be bringing happy memories to share with his classmates of the fun times he had tbis summer with you! !You are such a blessing,Emily ! All children deserve such positive experiences and interactons to learn from!:) I enjoyed reading your story.Thanks!

  2. Thank you Colleen for those kind words! Yes, I have an amazing time with him. He is such a joy to be with and I try to see him as often as I can. 🙂

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