This week is spring break for our school system and I’m so glad that my wife both had the opportunity to visit a friend who has a newborn AND that she took it. My wife is so selfless that she too often passes up these kind of moments for the betterment of the family’s budget or time or whatever. She and I both agreed that she needed to see our friend–to continue creating ties that will bind them for life.
It turns out, though, she’s not the only one creating ties that bind for life. I am, too–at home, with my three daughters. In just the past few hours, they reminded me of what it is to the best human. Three simple lessons all taught within a three hour span, all taught in our backyard.
- Be creative. Now that the snow is gone, I was able to put up our Slackers Slackline (imagine a nylon tight rope, if you will). When I put it up, I saw it as just that–a training tool for future circus performers. Within minutes, however, the girls made lassos for imaginary cows; they created suspended swings out of the leftover nylon rope; they even had a moment of imagining they were Rapunzel when one climbed the tree and let the rope hang from her shoulders.
- Invite others. Once the Slackline was up for about twenty minutes, it was a magnet to the rest of the neighborhood. The girls all welcomed the other children, gave them turns, and encouraged others to get inventive. They played. They connected. It was simple.
- Keep trying. My youngest (she’s six) left the Slackline before any of the others because she decided it was time for batting practice. So, we grabbed the bucket of balls and the tiny bat and started swinging. And whiffing. And more swinging. And more whiffing. Her contact average was about .150–that of a minor league catcher–but she just kept on swinging. Then, after about the 70th pitch, she crushed one past the neighbor’s trampoline and it made all the whiffs worth it.
I’m glad my wife is in Boston. She is holding one of her best friend’s newborns. There is absolutely NO doubt she is creating memories that will last a lifetime. But so am I.
And all I had to do was play with my children to learn them.