Thursday, August 4, 2011

Play Hard...Work Hard...

Kids are amazing.

They come to us, invite us into their lives, bring smiles to our faces, create memories that last forever, and do it with unconditional love.

I've had the pleasure and good fortune, being a teacher, to be able to spend the summers with my family.  Each summer has been quite different...holding moments unique to its time.

This summer has shown me a side of life, of myself, that I have never met before.  To be quite honest with you, I am still approaching this side with anxiety, caution, and wonderment.

I am anxious because I want to know what our future holds.
I am cautious because I don't want to know what our future holds.
I am in wonderment because whatever the future does hold, I will be there with my family.

Ava and Henry played hard today.
They jumped on the mini-tramp (next to a couch) in the basement and after three short jumps they would launch themselves over the couch arm, landing on the couch itself in a sea of soft cushions.  They would then roll or jump off onto a cushion lying on the floor and race to do it all over again.

After lunch they practiced riding their bikes.  Our neighborhood has slight grades creating slight hills; they traversed these hills finding out that travelling up is hard work while travelling down affords great pleasures.

When tired legs claimed the bike riding, they settled down underneath a tree in front of the house on the sidewalk and started their sidewalk-chalk session.  They soon found themselves coloring their own bodies with the chalk...laughing and giggling at the spectacle each other saw in the other.

Ella worked hard today.
She went to physical therapy and "played" with her therapist and the many toys that surrounded her.  She "climbed" a stair, reaching with great intent to grasp the objects she desired.  She pulled herself along the floor and up onto a mat, using her stomach muscles as best she could.  She sat on the Swiss Ball and rolled, worked on her neck muscles, and did some more stomach work.  She babbled with the therapist, danced her special dance, and showed off that she could put herself into a sitting position. All the while grinning and showing pride in her accomplishments.

She slept on the way home.

Ella played hard today.
When she met up once again with her brother and sister, she too played.  She sat in a box with a bag of blocks, she bounced on the mini-tramp with her sister (Ella sat and Ava bounced).  She ate a great lunch and played some more with mom when Ava & Henry went outside.

Ava and Henry worked hard today.
Maybe not in the same sense that Ella worked, but they did work.  They worked at including Ella in their fun, they worked at being as gentle as possible with her.  They worked at being the best role models they could be for her, and they worked at developing strong character traits~~specifically kindness and compassion.

This summer I am watching as my family grows closer together.  I watch as my kids develop their distinct personalities coupled with their interests and desires.  I watch as my wife further dedicates herself over and over to us.  

This summer will never be forgotten for us.  
This summer will help define who we are as a family.
This summer we all play and work hard.

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