Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Watching Her Play

My daughter is pretending to bowl.

She set up three shoe boxes on their ends and used her playground ball. She is at the end of the dining room, using the hardwood floor as her alley. The red ball travels down the "lane" and she watches with the same intensity of her first trip to the suburban alley

I am sitting her watching her. My mind tells me to finish that last load of laundry before bedtime. My heart is telling me it can wait. This is a moment that won't be here tomorrow.

"Mom, look at what I did all by myself!" She calls out to me with the triumph of a little one who discovered the joy of creativity. Her game of bowling turned into basketball with our dining table serving as the background for her hoop. The hoop is her dolls carrier and the former "bowling" shoebox. The red ball is now a basketball and she made a shot that would rival Michael Jordan's glory days. The joy she gained in the few minutes of play is something the leading toy companies, commercials interrupting her cartoons, or pretty packaging can't deliver.

Watching my daughter play and create games are part of the rewards for working at home. She often sits beside me as my fingers fly away on the computer. There are moments her presence warms me and I glance at a baby picture of her in with that cherubic face and for a second, I can still smell that baby scent. My daughter is my constant companion and my ever delight.

It is spring break and my three youngest children have been home all week. I admit that my patience has been tested and my last nerve stood on edge when the six-year-old let out a glass shattering scream; yet I realize, these are the moments of life. I will dream of this time when I put that suitcase in the car and send my last one off into the world. For now, I will give her that moment of my life, held captive by her husky, squeaky voice inviting me into her world. She won't always be four-years-old beckoning me to watch her. The laundry can wait, this can't.

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