It is a happy talent to know how to play.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Never underestimate the entertainment you can buy yourself with a buck. A handful of chalk transformed the sidewalk in front of our house. I have always been a big holiday decorator. We start planning for Halloween right about now mid-summer. On this Time Travel Tuesday, we discovered that sidewalk chalk is no less inviting than our most elaborate Christmas displays, and a whole lot less effort. Joggers, dog walkers and kids on skateboards have been enjoying our brand of urban art for the past 24 hours. I added a colorful hop scotch grid and taught my 3-year old how to jump on one leg. For the actual rules of the game, we had to consult You Tube for a tutorial. It’s been that long.
For those of you who forgot how to play, it involves eight squares and a bottle cap or rock. The first player starts with the rock on square one. If you skip square one and successfully hop up and back all eight squares and pick up the rock while balancing on one leg, you toss the rock to the next square. The next player has to skip that square and so on. It doesn’t sound all that tricky. But when you are forty-ish, there is a certain sense of accomplishment.
My favorite part was holding my daughter’s hand and trying to hop together. It transported me back to a time before cable, on-demand, IPads, Playstation, a new 3-D blockbuster every week and the expectation of having to go somewhere else for entertainment. Maybe I am dating myself, but I remember playing with whatever neighbor kids I could scrounge up until our parents tracked us down for dinner or it got dark. My children don’t go outside with out a planned activity and a chaperone. Play dates are scheduled. Living in Florida where we are a short drive from Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens and the beach, there is usually little interest in creating our own diversions. I suspect that has more to do with my parenting than my children's preference. They still have the ability to play with the box the toy came in.
I dabbled in this concept of here versus somewhere else a few weeks ago with my husband. I was about the head out of town. Getting a babysitter and packing for an early morning flight were not an option. Instead, I threw on some lipstick and put on a dress as if we were going out and greeted my husband when he came home form work. Talk about shock and awe. He was so taken a back, that he got dressed up, which doesn't always happen even when we go somewhere nice. Over a bottle of red, we called it a stay-date. It turned out to be an unexpected treat before we spent a week apart on opposite sides of the country.
What is your idea of a stay-date, stay-vacation or stay-play? Do you need to go somewhere else to feel entertained?