Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Childhood summers revisited

Summers for children are a magical and all too brief time.  Days spent swimming, bike riding and playing with friends disappear into memory in a fraction of a second.  But with children the chance to revisit those golden days happen every year.  All too often I am busy running the house and fail to take advantage of time with my boys.  Yesterday I really spent time with each child.  It was wonderful.  The highlight of the day was digging through the  pit  playroom and finding my Pente game from high school.  The eldest was not interested in learning the game so I started with Twin A.  Once he mastered the concept I moved on to Twin B and then let them duke it out on the playing board.  They are hooked!  So hooked that they introduced #4 to the game and spent hours playing.  Twin A and I revisited the game for about an hour before bed time.

Teaching my children the game brought back so many memories.  My best friend and I playing Monopoly for days at a time during summer breaks.  Another friend introduced me to Pente during high school and I can remember spending  all our spare time in the band room with a few others battling for supremacy in Pente.  I lost frequently but I was still addicted. In a time before personal computer games we sat down across from each other and played board games.  Sometimes the only conversation was trash talking our opponents but real conversations also occurred.  Conversations that helped us all formulate our dreams into words.  We talked about our lives, classes, parents and challenges with other friends.  We dreamed of who we would become and where we would each live.  We shared our thoughts and feelings and in doing so created friendships that would last over thirty years. 

Children today have so much pressure to succeed in school or sports that these moments to just sit and play are even more precious. They need this time to be unscheduled and unhurried.  And we as grownups need to join in that time as often as we can.  It nourishes our souls, builds memories with our families and reminds us of times we had forgotten about.  Take some time today to do something you haven't tried in 20 or 30 years.  And enjoy the silly grin on your face the rest of the day.

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