Mama, will you play babies with me? Pleeeeeeease?
I had put her off long enough. It's not that I don't like playing with her or spending time with her, it's just that I have lost all ability for imaginative play. I don't know what happens to that part of the brain as we get older, but its just not there for me. Scenarios like this one happen:
AB:Let's pretend that's its Halloween! And that we are taking the babies trick or treating! And let's pretend that your babies are wearing matching costumes.
By the way, I have twins named Treyvon and Maria. Cute as buttons, those two.
Me: (thinking) Its August. It's not Halloween. The outfits these babies have on don't even match, much less pretend that they are Halloween costumes. I have no energy to pretend trick or treat. Well, okay, I'll pretend one is a cupcake and one is a candle. (What? It's the best I could so. See? Zero imagination.)
A few minutes into our game, the doorbell rang, and it was the little girls from next door asking to play with AB. I swear the angels were singing in Heaven when that doorbell rang. My salvation, I thought. They love to play babies together. And my whole world came to a sudden stop when I heard my daughter say:
I can't play right now. I'm playing with my mom.
Oy vey. My heart.
How could I have dismissed playing babies as just one more thing to do when it meant the world to her?
It reminded me of a time not too many years ago when my teenage self was dating a boy that happened to live about 500 miles away. Our "dates" consisted of phone conversations, and he occasionally would visit his mom, who lived in my town, and therefore we would spend time together. After our phone dates, I would excitedly report to my mom what we talked about, the promises we made, and all the stuff that high school romances are made of. She could have rightfully said So, hey, I know you like this guy and all, but really? It's not going anywhere, sugar, and both you and I know that. He's not moving here like he says he is, and you're an idiot to date someone so many miles away. Don't fool yourself into thinking that this relationship is something that its not. Break up with him and move on. (But I like that you're home all the time because you don't have a boyfriend in town.)
But she didn't. In fact, she was very gentle, and she just listened. I know it was probably hard for her to hear. She probably had a lot of other things that she needed to do. But instead, she listened to my heart, my dreams, my romance, my drama.
Because the thing is, she's not here anymore to listen to those thoughts. And while I'm sure at the time she was thinking about what she wasn't getting done in the house, that house still stands there, dirt in the same corners and all. But I'll never forget those times sitting on the back deck, just talking and daydreaming of what could be...some day.
Playing babies isn't just one more thing to do. It's the start of a conversation, a dream, a drama. It's the beginnings of making memories that she'll never forget (and neither will I). I doubt she will grow up and say to her kids Now, listen to this story about your grandma. She was a suburb housekeeper. Not even the blinds has any dust on them. What a great woman.
So while I might have many other things that need to be accomplished (those incessant dirty dishes are calling my name right now), it is worth every minute of my time--plus some--to spend it playing babies.