“Misha, the race track is broken. Can you fix it?”
“Here, Shogun, here.”
“Misha, the car is going to crash. Crash! CRASH!!!”
“OH NO!!! McQueen! McQueen!!! Help!!!”
It’s 7pm on a Monday night, and this is the conversation I hear going on around me as I furiously type out this post.
This same type of back-and-forth banter between my two children is what I hear most nights while making dinner or washing the dishes. As soon as we finish eating (today it was quesadillas and grilled veggies with beets for the kids, chicken for me), the Lightning McQueens are unearthed from the toy chest and the kiddos take over the living room with their imaginary games.
Cars are raced around a Thomas the Train track. Stuffed rabbits find their way to the automobiles and join in the fun. Throw pillows are used as barricades and a part of the imaginary town’s borders.
I love these moments.
I love hearing my children journeying into their own private world, quietly laughing at their own inside jokes, calling each others’ names as they race around our tiny living room, dolls and cars strewn around their feet.
I grew up an only child, always wanting a sibling (younger or older, it didn’t matter) to be my own personal playmate. Someone I could tell secrets to and someone I could cry to when feeling sad. That was what I’d pray for every night. And so when I see my two children smile at one another, their grins as wide as can be, my heart truly does melt.
Granted, not every day is sunshine and flowers and unicorns. There are those moments when I hear my daughter whining, “SHOGGUUUUNNNNN STOOOOPPPP THAAAATTTTT!” My teeth clench during those times, and I can feel my body tense when my little son responds with an equally loud “HHHEEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!!!!” But that is life. There will be episodes of disagreements, times of irritation and frustration. And as much as I hate to admit it, I’m glad for those times. Glad that my two children can argue and cry and yell at one another, but then hug, kiss, apologize, and move on with their lives. They’re learning what it means to be in a real relationship, when relating to another human being is not always pretty but actually necessitates hard work and perseverance and forgiveness.
And so I’m frantically trying to finish this post because I want to steal a glimpse at my children racing toy cars around a plastic train track. Because their playing together, their loving one another, makes me smile and my heart satisfied. So good-night all. I’m off to the imaginary play world of my children.