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Monday, September 24, 2012

mom, play with me!

let me first say, i hate the park. i don't know why, but i do. i just don't find it fun to climb around on jungle gyms and scoot down slides that are five times too small for me. especially when it's hot outside, so the slide burns your legs. or when there's dew on the slide, so you end up walking around looking like you peed your pants. i don't enjoy playing tag really, or pretending i'm a princess stuck on a ship in the middle of the ocean. but i do all of that anyways, with a smile on my face (most of the time), because i know it makes my daughter happy. and i guess when you love someone that much, you're willing to make a few sacrifices...even if they make you look like a complete idiot :) 

"mom, come play with me!" we have all heard these words, a millionnnnnn times! but how do you react when you hear them? if you're like me, you could use some improvement...

while out with my daughter over the years i have noticed that there are three types of parents that you will find at the park: the oblivious parent; the spectator parent; and the participating parent.

you know the oblivious parent when you see one. they're the one texting, checking facebook statuses, or talking on their phone the entire time. their child either is used to this and acts like they don't care, going on their merry way; or he/she is desperately trying to get their parent's attention. "mom, look at me!" "hey, mom, come play with me!" "watch what i can do!" the oblivious parent won't even hear them...because they just aren't paying attention.

the spectator parent is the one sitting on the bench or talking with friends, watching their child play. their child too will usually try so hard to get their parent's attention, until they find someone else to play with...

the participating parent is the fun one. this parent gets in there and plays with their child, while looking at times sort of ridiculous. the child of this parent is happy, wearing a big smile and laughing, because his or her parent is interacting with them, which is all our kids really want right?

i am not judging any of these parents, because i admit at different times i have been all three...and that's ok. there are times when i have just been too exhausted or frustrated or whatever, and i have sat on that bench the entire time. it's ok to do that, once in a while. the important part is remembering that your child is a little person who craves your love and attention. your child will not be a child for very long; one day my avery won't want to play at the park with me anymore and when that day comes i'll be sad (and maybe somewhat relieved). but for now she enjoys pretending we're lions and gorillas stuck at sea...so for now i'll try to be the best darn gorilla that i can be.
"...even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28

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