A Child At Play

A Paper Plane my son made out of a chocolate devider. The colored pens are part of the airport terminal.

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.

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About Island Traveler

A father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a traveler, an optimist hoping to create something good & meaningful to every person he shares his world, his home, his dreams, his hope & heart with.
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20 Responses to A Child At Play

  1. incessantme says:

    Your son is really good at it !!! Loved reading through and yes there’s so much to learn from kids..to laugh openheartedly,to play endlessly,to keep oneself busy,to get what u want 😉 and the child within us always helps us see the lighter side of things.Great post !! Have a good day !! Cheers to ur son 🙂

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  2. cocomino says:

    You’re absolutely right.Children don’t think about tomorrow things.
    My children also like playing a Lego very much but they don’t clean up their room.
    Children are also genius to playing freely. 🙂

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    • Don’t worry, my son is the same when it comes to cleaning up his mess. But they do learn slowly. Lego has a universal appeal, it’s been there since I can remember. thanks.

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  3. misswhiplash says:

    Oh for the days of childhood..when childhood games were real. The days when school holidays stretched for ever and Christmas and Birthdays always seemed light years away.
    Those were the days…..
    Now my days go faster than I can keep up with them. Christmas comes around too soon and Birthdays are best forgotten…oh to be young again !
    love P

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    • I LOVE your poem !!! I know it fell on the comment section but It felt like an amazing poetic short story that I can totally relate too. Nowadays, it feels like time is rushing to fast, I can not catch up. I just folded my Christmas tree a few months ago but looks like I’m soon to open it again in the next few months. I wish we can all slow time so we can enjoy each moment of it. Thank you, just a beautiful response!

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  4. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Oh those wonderful Lego bricks! All my kids spent hours and hours lost in their imaginations playing with them. Even though they’ve all left home, we keep some Lego bricks here for visiting children to play with, and it’s so much fun watching what the little imagineers create!

    My sister and I used to play “library.” We’d make a library with all our books and have our stuffed animals and dolls come in and check out books, which we stamped with a due date and kept a record of who borrowed which books.. We even tried to get our cats to pick out a book to check out, but they were not cooperative at all!

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    • Thank you for such a wonderful “Library Play Story.” It also shows that you already had a love and passion for reading at an early age. Kids enjoy building things and Lego was and still is there to help them create fascinating things. Almost like a first step to become great minds when they all become adults.

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    • Thank you for such a generous and enriching ” The Library Play” story. I enjoyed reading it. Your passion for books and reading already shows even when your were just a child. The Lego has a worldwide appeal that help kids build structures of their dreams. It’s great to see our once selves through our children and the play they make.

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  5. ristinw says:

    Lego seems fun! I haven’t played Lego when I was a kid, I played barbie and cooking game! 😀

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    • Toys regardless of the form are fun to play with. My son is into Lego, action figures, cars, etc. But I grew up with 5 sisters and I’m familiar with the cooking stuff and all. Thanks.

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  6. Frank Bishop says:

    Oh yes, I miss the days of legos and cookies. The next day didn’t matter, just the fun. Such is the glory of hindsight. Now it is bills and traffic jams, life was much simpler back in the day.

    As always, sweet pictures. Keep them coming!

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    • Man, I miss those days too. Just play, play, play. No worries, no bills, no STRESS! Why do we have to grow up anyway? Is it to keep the economy running? Well, whatever the reason is, we can still have fun if we chose too. We may look a bit silly to some adults but what’s important is that we’re having a blast and just enjoying life. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. eof737 says:

    I smiled throughout this post… Plus I love your son’s toys.. lucky kid! I can tell he is a happy kid as you’ve encouraged that wonderment and zest for learning in him…. I played more imagination games when I was a kid as I was not a huge toys fan… It is, however, important for us to enjoy some form of play at any age… Love this post. 🙂

    PS. Catching up on commenting again after a hectic week that included 3 long days/nights at a yoga event. I will be attending another workshop in the coming week (7/11-7/14)and if I don’t leave comments, I will follow up on my return. 🙂

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    • Thank you . Yoga event sounds like a great way to relax the body and mind, gather your thoughts and energize. I’m happy to see your post at Freshly Pressed. Now , more people will find inspiration thru your writings. Have a great and fun workshop. take care.

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  8. Jenny says:

    I didn’t know there was such a store. My second son, Charlie would be in heaven. He creates many things out of the tons of legos we have from my hubby’s childhood. I have many fond memories of my childhood and I live every day to make wonderful memories with my children.

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    • Thank you. Same here, I had fun when I was a child but I had more out door exposure with my siblings and cousins than my son ever did. It was a different time then. Your son is lucky to get your hubbys Legos. I have to start from scratch, back in my childhood, Legos are considered a luxury.

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    • Thank you. Back in my day, I never had a Lego, it was considered a luxury toy but I had some fun street games with my cousins and siblings. Your son is lucky to inherit your hubby’s Legos and I bet they play together too. I enjoyed going through your blog, about the family and kids posts. Aren’t they the best? Best wished to you and your family.

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  9. Legos and action figures, aaaahh , how i miss those play days. thank you for the memories . if we had a Lego store here , i would be in 7th heaven.

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    • My son is crazy about them. It’s amazing how he can transform them from a robot, car to a blaster. Kids and their imagination. The Houston store is not that big but will do . The best one I went to was in Orlando Disney Downtown. They have this T-rex made of Lego- super wow! Thanks for the visit.

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