Seeing My Daughter's True Self Through the Magic of Play

It’s been almost 16 months since I had my little girl. Every moment has been an adventure. Lately, the adventures seem to be more magical and more telling, because as she explores the world around her, I see more and more of who she is becoming. I have to say, what I see makes me so happy and proud.

When my little Jada enters the playroom, she is on a mission. She knows exactly what she wants to play with and she goes for it. She rarely seems confused or conflicted. She enters the playroom determined and focused. I just love that about her. It’s amazing to have such a powerful and beautiful quality at such a young age. I hope it stays with her always.

At times, she enters the playroom and goes right for her brother’s fire truck. She pushes it back and forth and occasionally gives us a look that says, “yep, I am pretty good at using this thing.” Her love for tools, trucks, cars, and superheroes is beyond cool in my opinion. She doesn’t think of anything as off limits, and she somehow knows exactly what to do with almost every toy she encounters, because she carefully watches her brother and wants to do anything he can do.

But wait a minute—she’s not just a fan of cars and trucks. She knows how to host a fabulous tea party, and she makes sure we all get a taste by walking around with her Minnie Mouse teacup and her perfectly pink spoon. She patiently waits for each of us to take a sip from the spoon and tell her how yummy it is before she moves on to the next person. When I watch her with her little teacup and teapot, I see a girl who is eager to show the people she loves just how much she loves them. I mean, what says I love you like a nice hot cup of tea (and in a Minnie Mouse cup at that)?

When I am in the playroom with them, she often comes to sit on my lap with her toy of choice in hand, or she tries to sit on her brother’s lap (or back, or head). She just wants to be close to one of us. I see it as one of her many tender moments. I imagine she’s thinking, “sure, there’s tons of stuff to play with in here, but I just want to chill with you guys right now.”

What I admire about Jada the most, though, are the moments where I can be thoroughly engaged in an activity with her brother, fully expecting her walk over and find out what’s going on, but she doesn’t. She just goes to the tool bench or her castle, and she does her own thing. She laughs and plays and occasionally shoots us a smile that let’s us know she’s glad we are there, but she’d rather be on her own for a few. In those moments I want to tell her, “I get it because I’m the same way. Enjoy your time alone. “

As our little ones grow, their way of navigating the world around them is both unique and amazing. For both of my kids, playtime is incredibly fun, but what’s magical about playtime in my home is the fact that each play in their own way and it’s a strong reflection of who they are. How wonderful it is to see my youngest child’s true self emerge as she engages in the magic of play.

Read more from Martine on her lifestyle blog, CandidBelle. Connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

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