Big Kids Need to Play, Too

The first snow day was a perfectly-timed delight. Two steps from heading out the door when the call came, I enjoyed a fun, productive day.

Writing. Cleaning. Organizing fourteen bags of recycles, trash, and “donates.” Yoga. Reading. A little semi-mindless television. A lot of facebook. A couple of great phone calls. Rest.

Day two: cabin fever, made worse by the fourteen bags cluttering my living room.

The snow had stopped, the sun was shining, and the temperature was above freezing for the first time in over a week.

I had to get outdoors and play.

snow pyramid

As I stepped outside, my neighbor was putting the finishing touches on a snow pyramid that filled his postage stamp of a front yard. I smiled, anticipating the squeals of delight I’d hear when his four-year-old daughter came out to play on it.
I walked around my neighborhood and eventually to a nearby convenience store where the coffee was good, and the face-to-face interaction with other living, breathing human beings was even better.

Returning to my courtyard, I head the laughter of several little girls and then the voice of a neighbor calling from her second-story window.

“Let’s go. I’m ready to leave.”

Her daughter, about eleven, had been helping three younger girls climb the snow pyramid and slide down its sides on their little pool inner-tubes. I translated her whined response as “do-I-hafta?”

“Tell them you’ll come out later,” called Mom from the window.

She turned to her younger friends, “I gotta go. We’re going to the mall to get manicures.”

The oldest and the youngest replied simultaneously: “Do you have to?” overlapped with “Keep playing.”

With the most matter-of-fact simplicity I’ve ever heard, the five-year-old chimed in, “Why would you do that?”

As the little girls kept playing, and the ‘tween turned to go home, I wondered the same thing.

girls playing on snow pyramid

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