My son and his second cousin, third removed or something like that had been playing together most of our past Thanksgiving Sunday. He was here for a sleepover at our place. I remember those too. Loads of fun and always more to talk about. Great for community building. Not so good for one’s beauty sleep. I typed this moments after reading an article in the Globe and Mail that said irregular sleep patterns in kids can promote poor, actually I think it said, bad behavior. So much for observation versus judgment.
I’m all for sleepovers and in fact I enjoy them still as well, but only with Elizabeth. They’re especially good when we get very little sleep. Wink, wink.
So I finally headed up stairs at 9:45 pm and suggested to the kids that they should be getting to sleep. Carson looked at me like I had just told him that a new government directive had decided that candy of all kinds will now be illegal in Ontario. Spencer, my son, started to tear up. “Guys you’ve been playing all day”, I said. “Time to get some rest.” Lights went out and I think they chatted for about another 45 minutes before submitting to the night. By then my daughter Victoria had given up and retired to her own room to get some shuteye. She couldn’t take it anymore either.
So I wandered downstairs to the kitchen to finish up a very late dinner with Elizabeth and say, “These guys crack me up. They’ve been playing all day, doing nothing, but…playing and they’re upset they have to go to bed. Must be nice eh? Play all day. Tough. I mean come on guys get a life will ya.” And it hits me as quickly as the words roll off my tongue. They do have a life and a very good one at that. Play. All day.
We can learn a great deal from children. They understand plenty. They know more than they can tell and they get how important it is to just enjoy life and live. They dwell in it. They revel in it. They take from it all that they need for the time being. All inside the grace of one day.
“Where is the life that we have lost in living”, said Eliot. Think he understood it as well. We live and yet we don’t really get life it seems to me. Kids do. They play and then they want to play some more. May seem a little bit unrealistic, fiscally irresponsible and somewhat impractical to us mature, big, adult adults, but then again what do we know?
When was the last time you cried because you couldn’t play for just a little longer?