Monday, May 12, 2008

What Does Play Mean?

5/12/2008

Yahoo #2 has been in constant inquisition over the meaning of words. To be honest it can be taxing and he doesn't ask about things with easy answers.

"Mom? What does skateboard mean?"

"It's a board with wheels."

"Mom? What are wheels?"

"Round things that roll."

"What's a roll?"

It goes on and on. Today he asked me to play with him outside. I said sure. Then he said, "Mom? What does play mean?"

That's a good question.

What does play mean? I have a vague memory of me staring at him stumped and responding with, "Play means you are doing something you like." After which (sounds like church don't it?), after which I stared upwards in nebulizing ponderance over what play means. I received nary an answer or better yet I couldn't find a way to put "play" into words. I marched inside to look it up.

As we try to go as bookless as possible (that means without books or basically we don't keep anything written that is online somewhere), so as we are bookless, I must go to http://www.dictionary.com/ to see the official definition of play. Are you ready for this? It took over 3 minutes for all of the hundreds of definitions to come up. That's right hundreds.

Play is a drama displayed for entertainment (have you seen Death of a Salesman), play can be a sport (I play basketball!), play is a verb used to show a skill (as in I play the ukulele), play is a set of strategies used in competition (that play helped him win the game). It goes on and on.

What I realized in that 3 minutes of downloading lag time - was that I've lost my meaning of play. Where has it gone?! Is it under my bed? Is it buried in the back yard? Has it entered the dimension of lost socks? Did I leave it on a long run? Is it with all of my lost earrings? Has it been left behind with my career?

I know exactly where my play has gone. It's been sucked into that black hole called responsibility!

Could you think of a better wake up call? Hello!? Ring Ring!

(I'm off to play.)

7 comments:

rabidrunner said...

So... what does play mean to you?

The McMillans said...

My definition? Something spouse does with kids while I do the dishes.

Tee hee hee.

You are so right...I need to play a lot more. My has been sucked up by responsibility as well.

Anonymous said...

Profound insight into life. Well Done. J.R.

Lisa said...

Play is an attitude. Sometimes going to the park is play, sometimes it's mommy work. Sometimes running is play, sometimes it's racing work. Somethings are always play, somethings are always work but most are somewhere in between for me.

Girlfriends are always play, dishes are always work!

Winder said...

Play is something that the hubby and I did a lot of prior to this St. Patty's day.

I am thankful for your blog. Hopefully it will help me to remember not to lose my way as I begin this new journey of parenthood!

Anonymous said...

Play is how we figure out how to do something that we don't have instructions for.

rabidrunner said...

Anonymous, that's a good one!