This weekend there was a great noisy game going on in our backyard. Four male Lingle dwarfs, one Korean dwarf and the Prince and I along with two dogs, barked, yelled, shouted, groaned and cheered each other on, as we participated in a rousing round of PIG. What is PIG you ask - oh well, it is like the HORSE game, ( you shoot the basketball, if you make the shot the next person shoots from where you are, if they miss they get a letter, first person to spell the animal name is out and so it goes until you have a winner. The winner has the least amount of letters.) but because there are so many of us playing, and we wanted the game to end before dark, we picked an animal with a shorter name.
Okay, aside from the obvious, bonding, what did I learn from this rousing round of fun in the backyard? First and foremost, I still have skills... at least in beating a pile of over confident, somewhat sassy kids and hubby. Secondly, if you pay attention to the small things in the way your kids play you can learn a lot about them!
Lesson one : Impromptu is always best. No one is on guard, everyone jumps into the fray and does so thinking that this is a great idea and thinking it is going to be great fun. Even if they are a bit hesitant, the enthusiasm of the unexpected wins them over in the first few minutes of foolishness.
Lesson two: Don't take yourself seriously. If you do that and let your pride, or frustration show through in irritation or exasperation in the way they play (because it may not be the way you play) your going to ruin lesson number 1.
Lesson three: There are always winners and losers. It is unavoidable. It is the grace in how you win or loose that makes the difference.
Lesson four: Family time is to be treasured and sought out. Sometimes life gets so busy and we get wrapped up in the need to finish the dinner dishes, or put away the laundry that we miss opportunities to play with our kids. Your laundry will always need to be done, your dishes will always get dirty. At the end of the day however, your kids are a day older and a day closer to leaving the nest. You will never get that day back, that missed opportunity.
Lesson five: Memories made through the unexpected fun times are what conversations at bedtime and the next day are made of. The promise of doing it again tomorrow (or soon) creates a sensation of anticipation and excitement. As parents we should strive to be the source of that excitement for our kids. Our homes should be the place where they want to spend time. Where they want to bring their friends. If we are not providing our kids with this, knowing that they desire it, they will find it elsewhere and with others. While there is a time for them to move on from us, until that time, our home should still be the first place they desire to be.
So I know what you really want to know - who was the winner - well game one - Me - game two Happy. No the Prince and all his skills was not able to beat us out with his long range shots. Were the neighbors thrilled when we called it a day... I can only imagine. But did they witness Grumpy, instructing Bashful in the fact that is okay to be out of the game, and not to pout about it, because no one will want to play with him if he acts like a sore looser. NOPE .... and really folks that's what it's all about, the joy in knowing that your kids are getting it. That your voice is being heard, that your example is being followed. It may not be when we want it, or when we think it should be, however if you listen and observe them at play, you will see yourself reflected in them!
You really can't make this stuff up!