That Indestructible Spirit
As a family, we spend a lot of time playing. Raising four children means we’re often dedicating time and energy to not only exploring when each child is the happiest, but also uncovering ways we can get them all involved in the same activity. It’s a daily challenge, especially when I’m trying to get dinner on the table or help with homework. As much as we love spending one on one time with each child,it’s just as important to us that they learn to play together and sometimes that’s the greatest challenge of all. Jack (9) and Zoe (7) have established the things that they love to do and luckily for us, are learning how to make room for their younger siblings who at times, have much louder personalities.
We have active children but our four-year-old can harness the energy of 16 wild bulls from the crack of dawn until we wind down for bedtime. Beau arises with excitement in his eyes and firecrackers in his bones, and truthfully we run the gamut on trying to channel that supreme velocity at any given point in the day. He turns breakfast into the Olympic Games and teeth brushing into Dance Dance Revolution; it’s constantly entertaining, exhausting, and awe-inspiring. The course is expanded from the square footage of our home to the playground when we step outdoors. For Beau, the whole world is his jungle gym and as diligent as I have tried to be about boundaries and safety, I find that I stifle his soul by keeping him within the lines.
There are injuries. Beau somehow managed to put his teeth through his bottom lip while sitting buckled securely in his car seat with only his hands to play with. So, you can imagine how his imagination flourishes in a space designated for climbing, swinging, jumping and sliding. The trees and bleachers at his sibling’s little league games have become competitive courses for Beau and his imagination, and while he is certainly gifted with a incredible sense of personal space and balance, there are so many times that we’ve dipped into the emergency kit for Neosporin and Band-Aids. The Neosporin + Pain, Itch, Scar ointment is my own personal secret weapon, as it provides pain relief for the scrapes and gashes that often come with Beau’s shenanigans (and even sometimes the big kids). For Beau, a Ninja Turtle Band-Aid will instantly dry tears and help protect his various wounds, and he sees them as badges of honor, often refusing to take a bath to prevent them from falling off. I’m personally relieved when Neosporin is on and his precious baby skin is being protected from scars, too.
I’m fascinated daily by the creativity and inspiration that flows freely from my children. Their imaginations are constantly churning and watching them play together is one of the best parts of my day. These adventures are often not without arguments or accidents, and I’ve learned to just be as calm and patient as possible, no matter what happens or how bad it seems. Truthfully, my peace of mind starts with being prepared, so if I can make sure to get out of the house with a kit filled with a few trusty medical supplies like Neosporin, I feel that much more in control and can let the kids get dirty, play hard and have fun.