The best part of growing up as a child is the ability to play like there’s no tomorrow, to run as if the road will never end and to laugh to your heart’s content without restraint. Play is a universal phenomenon. Every child even adults with child-like qualities consider this activity as the most enjoyable part of their day. It is a vehicle for learning, social interaction, discovering things, exploring the World, expressing creativity and even understanding the basic but important concept of sharing.
My son is one typical child who loves to play. When he wakes up in the morning, he would head towards the table where he last placed his Lego Star Wars before he went to sleep. He would arrange them neatly in preparation for the new exploration of the day. When he starts playing, time seems to freeze as he ventures into another dimension. I would often catch him make voices for each Star Wars action figure he has, depending on what scenario he’s trying to visualize.When he catches me observing him, he would pause and stare at me looking a bit embarrass . He would normally just say, ” Dad ” and that translates to leaving him alone . At times he would ask me to join him , assume an impromptu role and become a part of his play. Usually, I end up being the loser villain and he’s the winning, celebrated hero. It’s bad guy vs good guy stereotype. I really don’t mind, I’m more than happy to share his little kid’s world. For a moment, I feel like a child again and it’s just an amazing, beautiful experience.
After school my son would tell me proudly with a huge smile on his face, ” I had a good day dad!” This means that he followed 100% of his teacher’s class rules. After he gets seven good days, he gets to pick a surprise toy inside the treasure chest. He gets all excited each time. After several weeks of consistent “good days” we would visit the Lego Store in Houston and he gets to choose within a set budget a Lego of his choice. Lately his crazy about Star Wars. He even watched the old Harrison Ford version that we borrowed from the local library. He’s enthusiasm about the characters is remarkable.
As promised , we went to visit our only Lego Store in Houston at the Galleria Mall. My son pulled my hand excitedly as he rushed towards the store. I had to catch up with his speed. He may have small feet and legs but when he gets all excited, he runs like his favorite Justice League superhero, Flash . I had to catch my breath by the time we reach the store. I wasn’t expecting nor prepared for the instant cardiovascular workout.
Inside the Lego Store, my son would play with the sample pieces. He also enjoys the free computer Lego games. When he’s done being curious and all, he would then head towards the Star Wars section and choose the next addition to his collection. He would first point to the biggest box, then I would read him the price tag and tell him that it’s expensive. He’ll keep quiet for a minute or two looking serious, as if trying to solve a huge problem. He would then point to the next box size and the bargaining cycle repeats until we reach the most reasonable price that both me and him can agree upon. It’s nice to see him learn the value money in his own little way. More importantly, it gives an early valuable lesson of self-control and realistic expectations.
A child at play is a happy, expressive child who would one day grow into an adult with so much zest for life. A life that is full of optimism , wonderment and meaning. We were once a part of this magical world and if we search deep into our hearts, we still are. All we have to do is acknowledge , listen and embrace its sweet calling.
When was the last time you laughed in total abandonment or allowed yourself to have a fun and adventurous play? When was the last time you felt so happy that you never stopped smiling? What was the best memory you had when you were a child? What was your favorite play , toy or game that meant a lot to you? Every now and then, I asked the same questions to myself when I feel sad, lost or depressed. As for the answers, they are just hidden somewhere in our subconscious waiting to be rediscovered.
- Lego – The Building Blocks Of Dreams (moneysupermarket.com)
- Lego’s Star Wars – The Video Games (allgamesreview.wordpress.com)