Monday, August 11, 2008

Room To Play

Even though Kenz takes gymnastics once a week, she's not interested in watching it on TV, and that's OK. Just because she likes to attempt cartwheels and hand stands, it doesn't mean she wants to watch the big girls who have made it to the Olympics.

I was visiting her last night, when the girl gymnasts were doing their routines. Kenz wanted to play restaurant, so we got out the plastic food. The coffee table was the restaurant, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish was the menu. A few baby dolls joined us, after having had a long stint in the closet. I waitressed, the Olympics was on the big screen for the customers. While serving fruit plates and vegetable platters, I occasionally glanced at the strong bodies clad in red, then red white and blue. Nana, Nana, Kaylee wants to order dessert. Nana, we need our check. Nana, did you hear me, we want to pay!

My daughter, Kenz's mom, was in the restaurant, at another table. Mom, how do they do that? How do they flip backwards in the air like that? I love the questions my daughter asks. She has that gift of being super observant. She was trying to break it down, figure it out. I sort of take it for granted that they flip backwards. Shell's genuine awe in the execution of the flips made me sit down to really appreciate the bodies in incredible motion.
Kenz must have understood my need to watch gymnastics. She got busy with her dolls, reading them stories and putting them to bed. As a matter of fact, she went 'to town' playing with her dolls. When I was kissing her good-bye, she was still in the game, hushing me, telling me that I was going to wake up the babies. She was absorbed in her play world, a wonderful place for a child to be.
The Van Gough picture she colored reminds me of the importance of having that space to play, a place to perform art in your imagination, room to move.
Last night Kenz was in play momentum and she was doing back flips!

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