He headed towards me, staggering, his gaze never leaving mine. With one hand he clutched his chest, close to his heart, holding back a thick dripping substance that seemed to want to burst out. Out of breath, he could no longer help it, the flood surged forth. He was suffering. He fell to the ground beside me. His small body lay writhing at my feet, his hand still clinging to his chest. In a final shudder he cried out, “Mommy, my heart!” But it was already too late.
Playing is serious business
I burst out laughing. I was absolutely amazed at how my children moved from one role to the next so seriously. The substance he was holding that spurted out was, in fact, a mix of sand and water. And with nothing but this beautiful mud, he wanted me to believe that his heart had burst. He died at my feet while waiting for me to join in his thriller.
It was the final Sunday before the end of the school break, a perfectly warm and sunny day in the month of August. My two kids and I took advantage of the occasion to go and play at the beach.
Sand has that magic power to stimulate a child’s imagination. The sensory contact awakens their triumphant creativity, provided that they have an open and pure mind. It’s like diving into the infinite universe where everything built becomes the extension of body and mind. It is the union of imagination and reality.
I was enjoying the last rays of summer and enjoying the feel of the sand between my toes. I remembered the young girl barely two years old who had taken my son’s dump truck. She was so cute in her pink T-shirt turned gray with sand! She played with that truck for a good hour. Just filling, emptying, and rolling; filling, rolling, and emptying. I was also surprised to see the truck not move for minutes at a time. What was going on inside that small head of hers? I would have loved to have known. Her dad fussed about, taking the truck from her since it didn’t belong to her. I wanted to step in and say, “No, please let her be! She’s playing, for heaven’s sake!” Alas, those adults…
And what about that imposing dam that we built with a canal that stretched for a good ten kilometers?
We were on our knees in the wet sand, working hard so the water would run through our little rivers without overflowing.
By the following day at dawn, fortresses, monsters, castles, and lakes were all swept away by the waves, along with our wonderful memories. Taking their place was a fresh canvas, ready to welcome a new round of fantasies, one more incredible than the next.
Tell me, when was the last time YOU played seriously?