Friday, June 11, 2010

Forgetting how to play

While I was still at work yesterday, I got this text from Patrick:

"will you take them out of the house somewhere, it's such a beautiful day. I know they would love to go to Mario land, oh please, oh please!" (punctuation added by moi)

This can be loosely translated into "get them out of here, I need a nap, when does school start again?"

But, I didn't have anything I had to do after work anyways, so I consented. "Mario land" is a creek that was given it's name when I was about 8, because it reminded my sister and I of the landscape from our beloved video game (the original of course).

I wasn't totally keen on the idea of creek mud, water, bushes, etc... so I tried to convince them to go the park instead, but they (meaning Damien) weren't having it.

Damien's the one who really loves it there. It's isolated and wild and a little dangerous.....all of the things that Damien strives to be within the confines of society. He takes off down the path and picks his way through blackberry bushes and roots, jumping rocks.....and Cali tries to keep up with him, and I try to keep up with her, but we fail, and eventually it's just us 3 girls. Cali is taking her shoes off, Emily is just standing, trying not to touch anything gross, and playing with my phone, and I'm wondering "what now?"

I tell Emily how I used to play there when I was little, how we used to pretend we lived there and would pick out our rooms among the bushes and rock croppings and make pretend food, and go swimming. She smiles at me in a way that shows me she's made it to the place between kid and adult, where there's a certain longing to play those games, but there's also that laughter at "those funny things kids do" that we adults have perfected because we've forgotten how to play.

And yesterday she was on the adult side with me. We sat on the rocks and tree roots. I proclaimed that this one was my "throne" and she laughed, and sat beside me. And we watched the "kids".

Damien stripped down to his shorts, and Cali stripped down to nothing, and they adventured. A naked little sprite splashing through the creek, her big brother helping her across a log. I wished I had my camera, and I wished I was little, and I wished I could think of something to do besides sit and watch. And I wished Emily wasn't giving it up so soon. Don't sit and watch Em, go play.

As we were leaving, Emily hurried across a slimy, muddy rock and slipped. She went down on her butt and arms and screamed. I grabbed her hand and she came up muddy and squealing "owww, ewwww, owwww, ewwww" and I had to laugh.

No matter how careful you are, life is going to happen, so you might as well strip down and frolic.


Anonymous said...

I love u Bran-Bran...


Sheree said...

I will never forget how to play! Love ya