Today, it dumped buckets of snow where I live. It has been a long time since we got a big snow like this. A light dusting or even a couple inches to play and build a snowman has been the extent of our snow coverage for the past several years. But last night it began to fall as I was putting the kids to bed. When I woke up in the middle of the night to nurse the baby it was still falling. By the time morning arrived it was a deep, magical, and beautiful winter wonderland.
I don’t know who was more excited about it to be honest, the kids, the dogs, or myself. The dogs were the first to get out in it. They ran like I had never seen them run before. If dogs could laugh, I imagine you would be able to hear the giddiness exploding all over the place. The kids were pacing the floors before the sun rose. “Can we go out now?” Their little pleas echoed over and over.
And myself, I live for days like today.
Day’s where the everyday hustle and bustle pauses.
Day’s where the to-do list gets put on hold.
Day’s where the rules go out the window.
Day’s where the laughter and the giggles dance in your heart.
These days are the magic of parenthood.
Play is an important part of life. It keeps us engaged and alive. It feeds our inner child. It creates bonds with our children that all the other moments just cannot.
If you are like me, I do not particularly enjoy playing the day-to-day play. I would rather direct my kids to play with their Legos, their Barbie, or their trains, and not have to join in. The to-do list is waiting and it’s easy to get stuck in the shuffle of life.
That’s why days like today are important.
Day’s where the warm summer rain comes in the middle of a hot day and you dance in the rain with your children.
Day’s where you let the kids play in the mud and you join in or you egg them on.
Day’s where you play on the playground. You join them on the swings or race them down the slide.
Day’s where you get in the pool and get your hair wet.
I think back to my own childhood and the moments that my parents truly missed by not playing with us. The moments missed by not letting us see their kid self or their silly side.
I watch my own children explode with light and excitement when their parents join in and be kids.
When I abandon making dinner to hop onto the trampoline and join them, it is a magical moment. It brings me joy to watch how my fun brings joy to them.
Children thrive in these moments and it is important to be intentional with them. It is important to take the day off on the snow day to go out and play in the snow with them. It is important to turn the music up and have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen for no reason. It is important to get silly and let loose.
The world is busy. Our lives are busy. We are raising a generation of kids who are too busy.
What will happen if we do not lead by example and show them to cultivate their happiness, to honor their inner child, and create moments of joy and play?
It truly is a form of self-care to get outside and have fun. To laugh so hard your cheeks hurt. To center in gratitude for the beauty and fun the earth provides. It is truly a gift that we are given, and it is our responsibility to utilize it.
Today, the snow came and we played.
Today, the snow came and they played.
Today, the snow came and I played.
Today, we chased each other and had a snowball fight. The elderly couple across the street watched and laughed. Our joy became their joy.
Today, we got the sleds out and taught the toddlers how to sled. The giggles and “woooohoooo!!!” filled the entire outside. My husband and I looking back at each other each time a kid went down the hill with delight. We were enjoying them just as much as they were enjoying themselves.
Today, we built snow forts and worked together to create something fun to play in. I got to watch their imagination wheels churning and they got to be celebrated every step of their process because I was right along side of them instead of wrapped up in the to-do list.
Today, we came in and continued the laughter over hot chocolate and treats because the rules were out the window and we were having a great time together.
These are the moments of their childhood I cherish the most. They are the days that I hope stick in their memories forever.
These days are far and few in this busy life, which is why it is so essential to prioritize these values in your family. It is important to be intentional in the way you are connecting with your children and in your family. Is play important to your family? Is breaking from the everyday hustle and bustle important for your family?
Be sure to honor your family’s values.
Be sure to honor your needs.
Be sure to honor your children’s needs.
Be sure to honor your inner child’s needs.
And you just may be surprised just how much you need play time.
You may be surprised how good it feels to run and chase your kids throwing snowballs at one another.
You may be surprised how good it feels to race them down the hill on the sleds.
You may be surprised just how alive you feel by being a kid with your kid.
These are the magical moments of parenthood. Don’t let them slip you by, get out there and play.