A Nice Afternoon for Everyone – (Finding a time to avoid saying “It’s time to go.”)
I was leading a workshop recently when a mother, Sarah, told the following story of an unusually relaxing time she had with her twin daughters – Eva and Marie.
On one of the first warm days of spring Sarah was lucky enough to have an entire afternoon to spend with her 4 year olds. That morning Sarah had been happy that she wouldn’t need to “hurry them along” as much as usual.
She packed supplies for the girls and decided to add some adult snacks and long overdue reading material for herself as well,
They went to Central Park and headed towards the children’s petting zoo, the girl’s favorite spot. They arrived at the rope spider web and Sarah decided to avoid saying “it’s time to go.” Instead she managed to wait for the twins to say when they wanted to leave. 3 1/2 hours later they were still in the same spot!
The girls had kept busy playing in this relatively small area and once had taken a fair amount of time to sit and watch what was going on around them. Mom had played too but had also gotten to look through her reading and relax in the sun.
When Sarah told her story at the workshop she shared that her own child hood was full of opportunities to explore and have fun without a schedule or restricitions. She was glad to have had the opportunity to give her girls at least one afternoon with a similar feel.
There are many factors that are unusual in Sarah’s story – each twin had a readily available play mate, Sarah is not working full time and had some open ended time with her children, and the long awaited beautiful weather was an ideal match for a relaxed and easy pace.
Of course such conditions are rare for many parents and children, but finding ways to provide opportunities for little ones to play and relax without a premature end can make a world of difference to everyone.