The Art of Playing

I’m not an artist. Just a mom of three.

The only art I see, honestly, are the crayon drawings on my refrigerator door and sculptures made of Play-Doh.

I couldn’t tell a watercolor from a pastel, a Carravagio from a Rembrandt, art deco from pop art.

But … I am noticing lately, an art that pervades my life, every waking hour of it.

This art of playing.

Have you seen a 4-year-old play tea party, pour what’s not there, drink what’s invisible, and strike up delightful conversations with her dutiful but sweetly mismatched love-worn company?

Have you seen a child scale a dirt mound? The way she climbs and slips, her knees bravely to the dust, dust all in her shoes, dragging a mesmerizing trail of swirls and streaks in the earth?

Have you seen a cardboard box rocket through the galaxy, sail across the ocean, race in the Grand Prix, provide a home for a heart-broken teddy bear?

Have you seen this kind of art?

The satisfied smile of a ten-year-old as he builds Lego creations, a hundred different genius ways, unbridled by instruction and practicality?

The look of pure confidence in the eyes of an eight-year-old as he strategically sets up a squad of miniature army men around pillows and other random items on his bedroom floor, in order to save the world from wild enemy forces?

Have you seen this?

This art of playing?

Fresh expressions of freedom??

Framed only by imagination, motivated by this simple permission to be wholly content in our uniqueness, undisturbed by audience and the need to be art?

Art that almost seems to echo, in a small and imperfect way, the effortless beauty of the One who created everything out of nothing?

Have you seen this art of playing? I’m beginning to think it can still be everywhere.

Because perhaps, it’s still in us, after all.

(But again, I’m not an artist.  Just a mom.  So what do I know? :))

What art do you see in your everyday life?

falling in dirt

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14 thoughts on “The Art of Playing

  1. I don’t have kids but I can still relate to this because my dogs. Please don’t take offense at that…I know dogs are not people but they are all I’ve got at the moment…LOL! Thanks for this post. It’s a good reminder to take time to play. Life is short.

    1. I love this comment! I miss having a dog … had two as a child and they were part of the family … they got Christmas gifts and everything. 🙂 I am a dog lover myself and can attest to their playful, free and accepting demeanor. 🙂 Please go hug your dogs for me!

  2. Love this Kim! I love watching my kids totally absorbed in their play. Having to actually play with them though? Not so much. Something about that makes my eye twitch and my skin itch. Haha.

    1. Ha ha … love when they are absorbed in their own play … and I can watch off on the side. I used to feel bad that I wasn’t on my knees playing with them every time, but you know what?? No guilt now. It’s a skill to play alone at times …. it’s an art even! 😉

  3. Wow! I had never thought of playing like that before, but really it is art! It is pure, unadulterated, beautiful art. My son’s art that I love recently, is his musical art. As he plays he will plunk out notes on the piano, blow into his pretend kazoo, and play his drums. To him he is creating beautiful music and to me he is too! It is pure and innocent. A complete expression of his perfect little self. Thank you for bringing this whole new ides to me! 🙂

  4. What a great perspective Kim! I am just like you, not knowing a fake from the real piece. However, I too am blessed with art each and every day.

  5. This is beautiful! As I read this my boys are playing “camping” under the covers of my bed. “Fresh expressions of freedom…framed only by imagination.” I love that. Their imaginations could rival that of any playwright. I think that desire to create is part of who we are, and as we grow older our medium just changes…into a cooking spoon, a keyboard on the computer, loving hands to care for our children, a voice of comfort to a friend in need. This is a lovely post! I think it’s a piece of art. 🙂

    1. You are right! The medium may change but how we never stop wanting to create! That is so insightful and well said. I have been reading your blog after Marla at Pendulum World introduced me to you … I love it! Thank you for reading. 🙂

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