Right now, my three youngest boys are attempting to kill one another while wresting each other in the middle of the family room floor. Nope, scratch that, all four of them are now playing this game. The three youngest are equipped with blankets that are being used as some sort of laser weapon (sword?) a la Pokemon. They are also equipped with balls that are bombs. Stuffed animals are doubling as battle teammates. There is a lot of jumping happening, and a lot of sound effects that I’m really not sure what they’re supposed to be.
This is a typical evening in our house. We eat dinner and take care of whatever items need to be taken care of before bed time, and then we try to all congregate in the same place for some “family time” as they often refer to it. It usually ends up being John and me observing them playing some sort of game, or me being the only observer as daddy jumps right on in with the boys.
I used to try to stop them for fear someone would get really hurt. Now, I just sit and watch because the reality is that there is something amazing happening. None of them have expressed what the rules of this game are, they just all seem to know. Their brotherly bond shines through as does their genuine enjoyment of spending time together.
Eventually someone will get hurt, as that’s usually the case (and more times than not it’s me, the one who’s only watching…how does that even happen?!), but it doesn’t stop them from wanting to create new games that they all play together.
The most interesting thing to me is that they’re not using any toys. All of those expensive toys they saw in the aisle at Target that they just had to have sit tucked away in their bedrooms or the shelves just feet away from them. Or there’s the 85 fidget spinners they had to have that I have found buried deep in the couch or chair, quickly forgotten after about two weeks. When they do play with the toys it’s usually to move most of them into the middle of the room to get something only they knew was buried behind them. The truth is they don’t even need toys. Give them a ball and open space and they’re good to go.
They especially don’t need toys considering they never use anything for what it was created for. Just yesterday T was using a toy hammer as a golf club for his miniature golf course he created using a couple of putting greens and a toy car roadway. Or there was the time C used playing cards as shin guards. Or when my furniture doubled as a trampoline. Or when the entire family room, furniture included, became a course for American Ninja Warrior and Spartan. The baby gate to protect any of them from breaking their heads open on the fireplace hearth is often a homerun fence, and the couch cushions are the bases. They also like to use my couch cushions as life jackets. Or football pads.
They’re nothing if not creative!
This is just further evidence as to why my house isn’t a designer showcase. I have to consider all of the potential uses my boys could create for every item I buy. I have to try to think like a nine year old boy. And considering I’ve never been one, I often overlook a handful or more. Maybe it will help me stay sharp and creative?
The truth is, I love watching this. I know one day they will all be grown and my house will be able to have more decoration and evenings will be quiet. As much as it sometimes drives me nuts, I can confidently say, I will miss these days.