Play, dammit.

Tuesday afternoon I found myself soaked from head to crotch with water from exploded balloons. Who knew it was exactly what I needed. A couple hours earlier, Erika called to see if I could do a last minute babysitting shift with her daughters Gwen and Audrey. The girls and I know each other well since I used to get paid to hang with them on a regular basis. Now 6 and 3, they are just as fun as ever and being around them snaps me out of my adulthood funk. Jumping on the trampoline with crunchy leaves sticking to our feet, drawing ugly dolphins, shooting a bow and arrow (I accidentally hit their barbecue on the first try).

What I want to know is why is it so hard to achieve these moments with older human beings. I know there’s all kinds of dry research about how we get busy, serious and complicated as we age. It’s definitely true. But isn’t that even more of a reason to incorporate playfulness? We’re all so rigid! It’s like there’s a store out there for those of us over 22 that sells poles to stick up our butts and we’re all convinced it’s a requirement to buy one. Some folks have a whole set of them. I propose a depository for these suppositories. Maybe it should also require finding a creative way to destroy them. There are probably a few people out there who’d be excused because they just need to toss the durn things and run. Otherwise, your first mission as an ass pole-free citizen is to figure out an imaginative way to get rid of it (or them). I wonder which method I’d choose. Possibly painting a weird face on mine and launching it like a javelin until it landed in the most hilarious spot.

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