Permission to Play

I had a few folders on my desktop.  Images of various things I made recently – mostly canning projects. 

I looked through the folders right now and, frankly, the pictures are horrible.  Mostly horrible.  Nothing worth posting.  In some cases, not even a complete series of process pictures…or no pictures at all of the final product.

So I dumped them.  I’ve got one good set, and I’ll write up that post another day this week.

Today?  Not in the mood too write about food.

I know, that rhymed, didn’t it.  I used to write a lot of poetry.  Emotional, symbolic, horrible, typical teenage angst-ridden poetry. 

I remember showing one poem to my English teacher one year…and he liked it, or liked something about it, and wanted to have the class read it (without including my name) and critique it.  And I, swelling a little with the implied praise, agreed.

Foolish me.

It was ripped to shreds, and the one thing that hurt most of all – because I chose to stay anonymous and not point it out – was that there was an error in the version he handed out to the class.   You know how in Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” it ends with “And miles to go before I sleep/And miles to go before I sleep.” – well, that’s kind of what happened with a line in my poem, only I hadn’t written it that way.  And in my poem, it made no sense and was stupid.  But I stayed silent.  Because there had been so many other criticisms already.  I just kind of sat there waiting for it all to be over. 

I wish two things. 

I wish I’d never agreed to have my poem read.

And I wish I’d spoken up.  Explained.  Defended.

But it’s hard to do when you’re fifteen, or whatever I was.  Fifteen, shy, ugly (in your own mind, anyway) and all sorts of other insecurity-inducing things.


I hadn’t even planned to write about that.  It just kind of came out.

I think I’m going through a dark and gloomy shoulda/coulda/woulda phase, and I need to get out of it.

So much wasted time.


I’ve got a list of stuff I need to do today.  I’ve crossed a couple things off so far.  All things have to do with the household, with family, with food or cleaning or grocery shopping or other bits and pieces of wifely/motherly obligation.

My list doesn’t include time to play.

Play doesn’t even mean play, exactly.  It just means, to me, free time to do creative stuff.  Without feeling like I should be doing something else.  Something house-related.  Something that will result in a tidier home or an empty sink or a more comprehensively stocked cupboard.

I encourage my kids to play.  To draw.  To color.  To make things.  To write stories.  To let their imaginations take charge.

I’m probably supposed to encourage myself to do all that stuff, too, but sometimes the Responsible For Things person gets in the way, with her pointy, shaking-in-my-face index finger and her list of chores.

She’s annoying.

So I told my sister that I needed permission to play.

And she gave me permission!

I’m so glad I have a sister.

I’m so glad I have the sister I have.

Thanks, Mere!

Gotta go now.

Time to play.

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