As a working mother who spends her morning in a corner table at the local coffee shop – plugging away on emails and article deadlines and post edits – my most savored time of day is the afternoon. Although I love my work and feel so grateful to have found a balance that works for me and my family, I can’t help but look forward to my quiet afternoons with Bee: just me, our tiny craft table and a few tubs of Play-Doh…
I’m not sure when the obsession began for Bee, but somehow, Play-Doh found its way into our home. We tiptoed slowly, offering her 1 pack, then 2, until the inevitable rainbow mixing of colors took over and we’re surrounded by stacks and stacks of colorful creations in every tub: balls, snakes, fish, grapes. We mold every animal we can think of, shape every number we know. And when we’re finished, we pile all of our pieces into one giant blob and start all over again.
It’s such a metaphor for parenting, this Play-Doh tradition of ours. We’ve got our hands full indeed – we’re busy parenting with our heads down, shaping and molding these personalities with the tools we’ve been given. Sometimes the creation looks perfectly spot-on, exactly how we’d imagined. And other days it’s far from what we’d expected, almost unrecognizable. But still, when the afternoon sun hits and our little ones hold out their hands, beckoning for “play-doh time,” we reach for them, offering what we can. An hour for me. A giant blob for her.
A fresh start for all.