I live in Texas where we are always grateful for rain. So in the universal sense of appreciation to the heavens for the rain all day Sunday, I was grateful. In the short-sighted, mom solo with three three-year olds trapped inside all day staring out at the pool, I was less grateful. Everyone had attitude issues, including mom, though hopefully not as much as the restless three spinning in circles (literally and figuratively).
But it was fun too. The truth is, we generally don’t find ourselves trapped inside together with nowhere to go or nothing to do. At the end of the day, the baby said, “What a fun day, Mom! We did puzzles and played little people and watched a movie and played Simon Says and running and built a fort and did dance party….We did everything!” He’s right. We did do everything.
Not wanting to hurry Sunday morning with imminent weather, I opted for Sunday School in a circle in our play room. We sang three songs, we talked about the Bible, we learned a scripture and I told a story about sibling kindness and pleasing God. Then we basically followed that “structured time” with hours of unplanned free play. As you might guess, we don’t get much of that. I have two days a week with the kids and we often have haircuts or parties or errands. There’s downtime, but not hours of it. Today was all downtime. One of the things I marveled out was their imagination. Here you see them all playing with aspects of the “little people” related items, but they were each imagining their own scenarios and own story lines and they were relating them to no one in particular as I just sat back and watched. The eldest had an elaborate pirate story unfolding, little bit was enmeshed in some sort of zoo event, and the baby had a transportation theme.
I loved watching it all play out. They also largely stayed out of each other’s way even though playing so near one another. It made me want to channel my inner imaginative child. I think we could solve the world’s problems.
Oh, and I don’t know about you, but just after this action wrapped up, I had some major childhood memories: The Fort! Now, the baby said, “IT’S NOT A FORT!” But that’s only because he doesn’t know what a fort is so we called it a tent. But at the end of the night, they were calling it a fort. We tried all sorts of ways to create this fort/tent. I used to love making forts and filling them to the brim with my stuffed animals. We propped up kid chairs and draped different materials, but ultimately we settled on the beach towels I’d brought in from the patio when it started raining and that spot in between Bray’s chair and our crummy old playroom sofa. It worked perfectly and even allowed a spot for ole mom to crawl right in there with them. We’re already planning on surprising daddy when he arrives home from his fishing trip – I’m sure he’ll never guess where we are with all the towels draped over the chair. Don’t you just love this view from inside the fort – aren’t you jealous??
The rain was good for Houston. But it was also good for us. Even with cancelled play dates and stir-crazy trappings, the wild imaginations and uninterrupted time was worth it all.
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