When I was young, I used to pray,
“God, don’t let me ever stop liking to play.”
To you this request may sound utterly ridiculous, childish, and unrealistic.
But it also has been answered – so far at least.
Although I don’t take time to dress up my dolls, or build and un-build with my LEGOs on my own, I am not apposed to playing with kids.
Whether the kids are 5 or 55, I gladly take up a ball or doll to compete or make pretend.
In truth, I prefer playing to sitting around talking. I don’t consider this immaturity (though some may disagree); instead I deem it an understanding.
Most boring people my age (or frightfully younger) consider play stupid.
I take play seriously.
This is not to say that I am serious when I play, but that I treat play as kids do: seriously.
That stick really is a sleek baseball bat.
That doll really is an evil witch.
That hunk of play dough really is a masterpiece.
And that baby really mustn’t be carried upside down.
No, I don’t believe I’m delusional.
You see, most people think that childhood and adulthood are two separate worlds, but really they are intertwined and both very real.
Little girls pretend to be mommies. Boys pretend to be soldiers. And parents protect and direct their precious, miniature look-a-likes.
Some people stand and scoff when asked to play. If you are such a one, remember with me –
Long ago (maybe not too long ago) you looked up to someone you – well, looked up to – and asked for them to play with you. They laughed, sighed, or sneered – either way, it wasn’t kind – and told you something along the lines of:
They probably weren’t even imaginative with their excuses like,
“I’ve already fought a dragon today.”
“If I play with you, I’ll not finish this project. And if I don’t finish this project I’ll lose my job and have to become a circus clown.”
“I am so tired that I could sleep in a den full of rattlesnakes.”
No, they probably just said,
“I don’t want to.”
And after you asked, “Why not?” They said,
“Because I don’t want to.”
Circular reasoning at it’s cruelest.
After several times of being turned down you thought (though perhaps unconsciously),
“Grown people just don’t like to play. It must be something you grow out of — how sad.”
And so, at some point you decided that playing wasn’t fun anymore.
Maybe it’s just me.
Or maybe the majority of humanity is missing out on the beautiful magic of child’s play.
Now, I’m not saying that every single day I abandon my post of adulthood to squander my time playing with toys.
I’m saying that my eyes are open – for adventure.