Children’s games are hardly games.
Children are never more serious than when they play. – Montaigne, Essays
The last thing most women want to hear when they have a two-and-a-half year old and a thirteen month old is that they are pregnant.
Nothing in my upbringing had prepared me for having three children in thirty-seven months, but they came anyway.
I used all my brainpower and coped with the situation. One day at a time.
When the oldest child, Treva, was about four years old her brothers were two-and-a-half and one years old. I was desperate for some relief. They needed something that would occupy their attention for more than a nanosecond.
I came up with just the right thing. It would be an outdoor activity.
It will encourage inventive play. It would be a great fun thing –a sandbox. I remembered playing in a nice big pile of sand as a child. My friends and I constructed roads for our toy cars. We planted trees using twigs and played for hours, or so it seemed to me.
I shared the idea with my kids’ dad and he agreed it would be a good idea. He would get the lumber to make the sides of the box.
So before long there was a large box in the backyard. Their dad had used nice 1×12 boards and placed heavy stakes at each corner to stabilize the sides of the box. It took me several days to bring the play sand that the suppliers suggest for children’s sand boxes. I didn’t want the kids to see what I was doing so I carefully and secretly filled the box while they were not outside, one bag at a time until it was nice and full. I placed a few simple toys in the box and was ready to present them with a new play experience.
I took them outside dressed in their “it doesn’t matter if you ruin this” play clothes. And I went inside thinking this should keep them busy for a while. I peeked out through the curtains a time or two and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.
You’ve heard me share about personality types, but in those days I was not aware of the developing powerful choleric daughter I was raising. This day gave me a clue.
It was a little later when Treva, the oldest, came in the back door. She was covered with sand. I could tell she had something to tell me. I watched as she began to dust the excess sand off her hands. She placed her small hands on her hips about to make an important announcement. I wondered what she was about to say.
Finally, with absolute confidence, she said, “I finally got all the sand out of that box.”
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