I’ve been thinking about the term playdate. Many parents use it to describe arranging playtime for their children. Busy work schedules are part of the backdrop for this form of play. And yes, leaving children unattended has become increasingly worrisome. The good thing about playdates is they are not usually structured.
When I was a child, we ran outside. We were either pleasantly surprised or somewhat disappointed. If other kids were out, we played. It seems these days it is difficult to be spontaneous like that.
Now we even plan our phone calls via text. “Can you talk now?” “When is it convenient?” “Please call me back when you have a moment.”
It’s become the norm. A norm I find I rather sad and kind of crazy.
What if we just picked up the phone and called someone without warning? Wouldn’t that be grand?
I am well aware children need structure. We all do. But is there a chance we are overly closed to unplanned, impromptu, spur-of-the-moment actions?
I am curious. When was the last time you did things that were unscheduled?
What if we broke our routine to include something spontaneous and fun? “Let’s go get an ice cream cone.” “Let’s sit on the hood of the car and gaze at the stars.”
We don’t have to leave children unattended to add a little spontaneity into their lives. Head out on an adventure just because with no agenda. Maybe the park isn’t open, but we adjust. Maybe the show we wanted to watch isn’t on, but we find something interesting to do in exchange for it.
Let’s be open to the joy of spontaneity.