Yesterday I plopped down on the floor next to Tiny-Small partially because I was tired and partially because I wanted to get down on her level for a while. She was playing with her dollhouse and Loco-Lou-Lou was tormenting her by removing furniture and people from the little house. Loco kept dropping her ball in through the window or the front door and then climbing all over the house to get it back out again. They fought just like siblings teasing each other every chance they got and then screaming foul when it went a little too far.
Tiny-Small stumbled into my lap to show me the mama doll and her pretty skirt and then she tried to stick a tiara on my head and almost poked out both of my eyes more than a few times. She was having a blast and it was obvious she loved having me on the floor with her. She was giggling and dancing around me, hugging me, and sharing her toys. She liked having all of my attention. I wasn’t on the phone, on the computer, folding laundry or doing dishes. I was just her playmate. Nothing more and nothing less and she was happy.
This reminded me of being a little girl. There was a man named Mr. Ivory. He was the father of one of my dad’s best friends (when he was a kid and growing up himself). To me, Mr. Ivory was an enormous and old man. In my 4 or 5 year old memory he was as tall as a giant and he was one of my best friends. I have this one very clear and distinct memory of him arriving at our apartment. We lived on the second floor and I can remember standing at the top of the stairs and watching him come in through the door and start climbing the stairs so he could play with me. I was so excited I could barely wait for him to arrive at the top of the stairs and I remember doing a kind of happy ants in my pants victory type dance in anticipation. Mr. Ivory would always play anything I wanted to play. He wasn’t like other adults. My mom says he was amazing. I sure thought he was. He would get down on the floor with me and play barbies, dress up or any other game I could conjure up with my little girl imagination. At that time not too many adults came down to my level and actually played with me. I imagine now most of them were just too busy trying to get things done. Mr. Ivory was special and I always looked forward to seeing him because I knew I was in for some special attention. He treated time like he had a never ending supply of it and seemed to delight in just being in my company.
Those are the moments you remember when you grow up. The moments when you had an adults undivided attention. The moments you were seen as a person and treated as if you were special and important. I am trying to give Tiny-Small as many of those moments as I can. If you have a child in your life don’t forget to stop for a moment and admire him or her. Life gets so hectic sometimes and as parents we get busy and have so many, many demands on us and on our time. Just remember that during these days, months and years that your child lives with you, you are creating the memories that he or she will walk around with for a lifetime. There is something sacred and humbling about that. It’s both an incredible honor and an incredible responsibility. It is certainly a gift not to be taken lightly. Make the best of each moment and stop and smell the roses with your child. Give them the gift of happy and loving memories that they can cling to as they grow old themselves. Get down on the floor and play with them. Play anything they want to play so when they grow up they will know that you loved them and thought they were something pretty special.