Photographer Project (20)52 Buffalo, Minnesota
Dear Parents Who Complained About Playing,
Please accept my deepest apologies for judging you. Some of you straight-up told me you hate playing games. Others, I overheard at Starbucks discussing how you are not a fan of coloring. Occasionally, I saw you subtly roll your eyes when your kid asked you to push him on the swings or go down the slide with her. My before-child-self vowed to savor every moment of play with my future children. Now, on the other side of child-delivery, I have learned something.
I HATE "PLAYING BALLS."
How do you even do this activity? Throw them? Play catch? Sort them by color? Make a "tower?" Play fetch? Put the twenty balls in a “pile” to run through? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND PLAYING BALLS.
Coloring? Yes. Trains? Yes. Legos? Yes. Catch with a two-year old with a power-arm and poor aim? Yes, please. Play balls? I literally prefer running in circles until we are both so tired we lay on the floor.
Child’s play is adults work. Unfairly, adult’s work is also child’s play.
Photography Project 52 Week 20: Work or Play
Those childhood days were bliss. When hauling mulch was play and our most pressing matter was whether or not Mom would give us a chocolate chip for using the toilet. (Someone get this child out of a diaper for me. K, thanks.) As I watch my son grow, a nostalgia washes over me. Fellow Grown-Ups, we used to run and play and do super-helpful chores for our parents. For example, Parker puts his dirty clothes next to his hamper.
Spreading mulch no longer has such allure. I no longer wake up (every. single. morning.) asking to shovel wood-chips. Getting to flush the toilet no longer brings what can only be described as pure joy.
I would love to share with you on about how I think we are missing something. That we need to learn to play as a children and enjoy every dang second of this life. That we should strive for transcendent joy. But perhaps chasing happiness actually messes with me. Life can be so delightful and that is far from bad. When happiness becomes MOST important, however, I lose focus on what’s important. Perhaps my happiness, my American Dream, my plan, is not what I should be striving for. Perhaps I should look to the Jesus I claim to follow.
- “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
- “’For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
- “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
- “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
- “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Not all of that sounds incredibly fun to me. Will I teach my children life is all work and no play? Absolutely not. I am not sure what or how I’ll teach my children. They are still tiny and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING. How these kiddos will turn out is anyone’s guess. I want to teach them a perfect balance. If you know what that perfect balance is, feel free to let me know. Until then, we muddle through parenthood.
I believe we can find joy in our work. I believe we can care for orphans, widows, poor, and oppressed while finding real happiness. What does this look like? I am unsure. And sometimes changing that eighth poopy diaper of the day just gets you down and you long for the season of life when you sat at a coffee shop with grown-ups and no one was picking his nose or spitting up.
My children are appropriately in a season of play and I (mostly) ADORE participating with them. For me, however, this season may be about letting go of my “play” dreams. My life is now and I want to live it. I claim to care about following Jesus, it’s about time I acted like. I am trying, learning, growing. What this will look like - I haven't the slightest idea.
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.” Isaiah 1:17
Check out Project 52 and contact me for your picture-taking needs. Danielle Geri Photography is based out of Buffalo, Minnesota and provides children, family, senior, newborn, and maternity photos for Monticello, Plymouth, Buffalo, and basically everywhere else in this lovely state.