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Sometimes Your Muse Is Right Before Your Eyes

Sometimes Your Muse Is Right Before Your Eyes

Ever since I published my very first post less than a year ago I have been addicted to blogging. I try to write at least a piece a week, and two if I feel inspired. Some days, ideas or topics will present themselves and some days they do not.

Friday evenings and Saturdays are almost always days that I am able to reflect and come up with something to write about.  But last night we spent a wonderful evening with some friends and so by the time I got home it was time for bed. And this morning when I woke up at 5am I planned on writing.

I went downstairs and figured I had a couple of hours of quality writing time. But, I was so tired from the week that I fell back asleep until 8am. When I finally woke up, at 8am, my kids were watching tv and in full Saturday Mode.

Writing is my release, the way exercise is for many folks, and if I don’t get to go through the process at least once or twice a week I feel like I am missing something. So I sat on the sofa, both kids wide awake and still full of energy, and began checking my Twitter feed hoping to find some inspiration. Hoping to find my muse.

My daughter was still watching tv, but my son was inching his way over to me. Uh oh, here goes Daddy’s writing time.  He said, “Daddy you wanna play with me?” At that moment I went through the feeling of guilt for not wanting to play with my son, but I also know that I need to allow him to learn to play independently. Something my son is still struggling with.

Maybe my rationale was just an excuse for wanting to have more time to myself, but I do believe that children must learn how to entertain themselves. So I told my son, “not right now.”

And he was cool with it!

He started to gather some of his toys and began playing right in front of me.

But I still didn’t have anything to write about!

Then it me.

Stop looking at the screen and watch your son!

He’s your muse.

So I did. I pretended I was reading, when in all actuality I was snapping photos of my son.

saturday toys

Watching his imaginary play was magical. He can do it! He was doing it!

Now much of his play involves crushing or killing or busting or bad guys. But it was his world and he was in it. I was mesmerized.

This could be my topic. Tell my son’s story. Better yet show my son’s story.

He continued for a while longer and I was actually able to videotape some of his imaginary play. I am biased, but the part when he gets down on the rug with both his toys was awesome!

He eventually asked me again to join him in his fantasy world. And I did. We fought the bad guys and we were unstoppable!

So essentially my son was able to create his own world and then invite me into it. I let him be the boss because it was his world and I was just lucky enough to be invited into it.

Our Saturday continued as usual until it was time for his nap. I always lie down with him until he falls asleep and today was no different. He was exhausted and I didn’t expect it would take long for him to fall asleep.

We were all set.

Pillows, blanket, milk and ac turned way down. Then he realized he didn’t have his toys. I tried to convince him he didn’t need them to fall asleep, but he wasn’t having it. So I let him go back downstairs to get his creatures.

Once he had them he continued to play with them in bed for another twenty minutes!

saturday in bedBut, this is what I was hoping for all along.

Why would I think that I could awaken his imaginary play and then just shut it down when I thought it was time.

Then I remembered it was his world.

Not mine.

I was the visitor.

Eventually he fell asleep.

saturday asleep

In fact, he is still asleep as I am wrapping this piece.

And I can only wonder what he is dreaming of.

Disney World? Blues Clues? Unicorns?

Or maybe, just maybe, he picked up right where he left off when he was awake.

Maybe that is why he needed his toys.

Maybe they are with him right now.

Helping him fight the bad guys.

I can’t wait until he wakes up so I can ask him.

2 comments on “Sometimes Your Muse Is Right Before Your Eyes

  1. Love that age! Sometimes if we just step back and watch, we can see how our children interact with their world and create their own fun. Great lesson for our classroom as well. What would happen if we stepped back more, didn’t orchestrate their every move, and didn’t inhibit their ideas with our own?

  2. Ben Gilpin says:

    Highly enjoyable post Jon. I appreciate the way you honestly and candidly shared your morning and your thoughts. My favorite part was your inner battle on whether to play with Derek or let him grow in his own independence. As a parent, I often fight this battle as well.

    I also think as educators this is an interesting issue. Do we always assist or do we encourage independence? I think the answer is somewhere in the middle.

    I always enjoy reading your posts, keep it up Jon!


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