Friday, June 22, 2007

I float like a butterfly, bumble like a bee

Play: I find myself increasingly embracing, and becoming more confident in, my many inabilities, failings and near-complete lack of skills. This statement in Slate's "the paradox of play" article frames what I'm talking about nicely: the modern father's ineptitude when it comes to building a treehouse or a go-kart, not to mention playing marbles, could prove a godsend. Instead of a fussy facilitator, he can be a fellow bumbler, feeling his way and having fun.

Though Fergus thinks I'm a pretty good mechanic since I usually am able to change the batteries in his Thomas trains, really I'm not all that handy. And this lends itself well to the fact that our best moments as a family at play are when we discover things together and learn from each other. The member of our family who did not inherit poor DiY genes (ie: not me) may have researched how to build a treehouse exhaustively and purchased the necessary power tools, but still our treehouse, that we all contributed to "building", remains a nail-free pile of specially selected branches carefully leaned up against a wind blown tree. That seems to work fine.

Also... its really cool to have your daughter unconsciously teach you some trampoline maneuvers (maneuvers that would have given a certain grade 9 student with a once intense fear of heights a passing mark in gymnastics). I'm oh-so-thankful that we can discover all this together. Bumble, bumble, bumble...

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