My niece took me on a series of adventures this weekend. A simple camping pad from Wal-Mart became a roller-coaster ride and then transformed into the three pigs’ house. The big bad wolf came and “blew the house down” (over and over and over!) By spending a couple of hours following chasing her imagination we had some wonderful adventures.
As much of a stinker as she can sometimes be, my wife and I always look forward to spending time with our niece. Her delightful disposition and natural creativity, coupled with the simple playfulness that comes with her age makes our times together nearly continual playing and games.
She brought the camping pad out and asked me to roll her up in it. I did so, and then lifted the end of it, quickly unrolling her (roller coaster). She loves that! It works best if you keep their arms straight down to their sides. Eventually I got tired and we switched to building a house out of the pad. It is a simple matter to stand it up on end, wrap it around her as she sits down, and then cover her with a blanket. Then I get to play the part of the Big Bad Wolf who comes and Huffs, Puffs and Blows Her House DOWN!
Of course, the playing did not stop there. We migrated out to the garage, discovered a box large enough to play in and spent nearly an hour focused on the box. Later in the day we headed outside with the camera and took a number of photos. I am pretty sure that my niece is going to be a model, or a photographer. She absolutely loves being on either side of a camera, and is a natural. Pictures of her come out wonderfully, and she’s already better with a camera than I am.
It is very easy to come up with excuses to not play with my niece. “I’m too tired,” “I have a headache,” or “I have some work to finish.” No excuse is worth missing out on the irreplaceable time spent together. I don’t actually need a nap, rarely do I have more than a mild headache, and work can definitely wait.
Sometimes it is easier to avoid what you really want to do than to get started doing it. It takes a lot of energy for me to keep up with my niece, but it is always worth it. If you are blessed with time to spend with children, take full advantage of it. Time flies by, don’t let it slip through your fingers. Your adventures might be imaginary, and your guide might only be a couple feet tall, but the memories will last a lifetime.