What do you do when a little girl pays a visit to your house? I often am confronted with this when my daughter Kate asks me if I can watch Sofie, her five-year-0ld daughter on a weekday. There are times when I think I should decline, and tell her how busy I am and that I can’t possibly drop everything and babysit.
But I never do that, well, almost never. Because I am of the belief that you can get things done while little ones visit, you just have to set aside a little bit of time to play and then they’ll figure out what do the rest of the time when you’re actually working. I think there is far too little play in most people’s day to day lives, and so, I’m always ready.
Today the appointed hour came around and as usual, I was taken by surprise. I never remember that Sofie is coming even though I’ve put it in my calendar on my phone. No, the minute I hear these small steps and a door creak open, it’s ‘oh yeah, Sofie!’
Today after her dad left, and I had gone downstairs to keep on working, Sofie asked me straight up–come on Gramps, let’s play. Who can say no to such a demand, such a request? Certainly not me. So I tell her to pick which little toys she likes from my row travel souvenirs up on my mantle, and we select a bear, a tortoise, a koala, a kiwi and an English replica of a mailbox. We’re ready.
These little toys have all kinds of purposes, besides being memories of places around the world I’ve visited. They can have contests of strength between them, they can be arranged in a perfect circle, they can try to tickle each other…they can do whatever we tell them to do.
So we play a little, and then they get returned to their mantle, where dust gathers on some of them. A good reason to take them down and play with them once in a while. There’s always time to play.