Big Life Lessons from my Little Human: The Importance of Play

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Albert Einstein

I want to keep this snappy. I’m not always good at keeping things snappy, but for the sake of time-management, I am obligated to keep this snappy.
It’s Mother’s Day. I have a few hours before the little one returns home from her Father’s and I’ve somehow accumulated a lengthy to-do list.
(List includes: Get bum-bum to gym, purchase flowers for Mother, write something, tidy at least one room, meditate…)

So I’ll get to the point. I found myself in the local paper recently. Not just my words, but my face and my name in big red letters too. It was very awesome and made me feel like the little writer I always try and remind myself I am. I write most days, but I don’t think of myself as a writer often, I think of myself as “tired Mummy” or “restless twenty-something”. So to have something published in print was quite special for me. (I’ve had pieces published before, but they were reporting on local news, not this sort of column-style where I was free to say whatever I needed to).
It made me realise I can still work, and mother, and write bits and pieces on the side. Just because life felt very busy, often packed with the mundane, the boring and necessary, didn’t mean I couldn’t make time for the work I love the most. This very small step was still a step in the right direction, and to me it feels huge. I’m rather proud. Proud, tired and giddy with “THOSE ARE MY WORDS! MINE! IN THE PAPER! THAT’S ME!”. 
So here’s my little piece, found on page 13 of The Wokingham Paper (28th March, out for a week).

Big Life Lessons from my Little Human: The Importance of Play

“What do you want to be when you grow up Mummy?”
It always amuses me when my five year old voices such queries, because whilst all very sweet and innocent, they’re also ridiculously appropriate for my current circumstances.
“I’m not really sure darling, lots of things, what do you want to be?”.
My list is just as long as hers, and not all that dissimilar.
“Artist”, “Actress”, “Superstar” to name a few potential paths.
We dream big in our house. Sky’s the limit. She’ll probably decide before I do.

Life has flown by very quickly over the last few years. Partly because I hit my twenties and I am still at that very confused, uncertain, not-quite-sure-what-my-purpose-in-life-is stage, and partly because the same year I celebrated my 21st, my daughter turned one.

For the last six years, I have been navigating the minefield that is motherhood whilst also
attempting to explore my career options and figure out what exactly I might find fulfilling. It’s been a very messy, very challenging, very exciting period of time. A rollercoaster yes, but a manageable one. I’d say I’ve enjoyed the majority of the ride, even if at times I am covered in a tiny person’s vomit. And breastmilk, let’s not forget the breastmilk.

No I haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up, though I do love discussing it with Maia. My little dreamer.
They say spend time with people you want to learn from. Well she’s my number one favourite teacher. And my current favourite lesson? The importance of play.

Being an only child, she’s used to playing alone and I must say she’s very good at it. I regularly hear her talking, laughing and singing to herself, I’m envious of all the fun she’s having and the magic she’s creating. I quietly observe, in awe and admiration.

The mystical world she creates as she lets her imagination run wild, the colourful characters she plucks out of seemingly nowhere, the songs she so passionately makes up. All a gentle reminder that, I was like that once. We all were. Playful, curious, free-spirited little dreamers.

Thankfully, one’s inner-child remains throughout life. It never truly leaves you, no matter how trying life becomes. Our inner-child is always there, full of wonder, leading us towards excitement, joy and creativity every chance it gets, asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.

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