The other night The Senator was looking rather bored. He had tired of playing blocks, tired of playing “Choo-choo” (though that was short lived), and clearly wanted to be with Mr. X and I who were too “busy” staring at the TV in utter exhaustion.
Whenever I run into a wall (figuratively speaking) with entertainment ideas for my kids, I try to think back to those childhood days when life seemed a lot larger, buildings and people were taller, the days, weeks and months went by much more slowly, and the possibilities were endless. I put my feet back into those size 6 toddler shoes and ask, “What would I do if I were 2 years old and was bored with my toys on an ordinary xxxday night?” On this particularly ordinary night, in our unassumingly ordinary house, watching ordinary nighttime TV which replaces our need for thinking or talking out loud, having just eaten another underwhelming ordinary meal, I decided to introduce the Senator to the extraordinary life of imaginative play.
I leapt to the floor and growled at my son. I started with low growl churning up from my stomach, the way one’s cat or dog might moan when they hear a noise outside. I scrunched up my face and clawed at the floor, wide eyed and threatening to charge. The Senator looked at me with a puzzled expression at first, wondering what planet his mommy had just returned from. I clawed the floor again, rolled my head back and “roarrrrrrrred” like a lion and looked him square on in the eye. His expression grew from puzzled to concerned as I let out another roar and began to step forward, still threatening to charge. I cocked my head to the side with another belly growl and waited. I watched as the spark of understanding began to pour over my son’s face, realizing that a game was afoot. Understanding quickly turned to acknowledgment of the rules of engagement as he sank to the floor on all fours, ready to pounce back towards the mommy lion standing before him. We reared up on our hind legs and galloped around the “Saharan Desert” dining table roaring and giggling to our hearts content.
We metamorphasized into jungle snakes and plain rabbits, hopping around the dusty kitchen plains, and then became eagles soaring high above the cloudless living room skies. We spent the better part of an hour imagining that we were animals, airplanes, trains and cars, zooming around the house, laughing until we were so tired that we collapsed into a mother-son ball on the living room carpet, back to the ordinary room where we had begun our evening adventure. My son’s eyes sparkled with joy as well as with a hint of gratitude that his mommy is both willing and joyful to join him on the floor and engage in playtime. My heart grew as I realized that we had just turned an ordinary day into the extraordinary without leaving our home or spending even a penny. This was indeed a day that will live with me for the rest of my life as a reminder that these moments, the kind I forget to photograph or write down in my journal, are the ones that make up a life less ordinary. These are the moments, collectively, that makes my life miraculous and blessed beyond description.
3 days ago