Do you remember playing 'house'? I sure do. Not surprisingly it was my most favorite thing to play. I loved nothing more than getting out all the stuff, packing it up, taking it to a faraway place (like the backyard), and setting it up. And really, wasn't that 90% of the fun? Getting ready to play?
Yesterday I found Nat, Sarah, and Ellie setting up their 'house' in the family room. They had blankets over all the couches, and each one had their own room (a true fantasy in this home). They had their children with them (many, many children in the form of stuffed animals). I was delighted to watch them play. I love how much of it is talking through what happens. 'And then you said this'. 'And pretend I went here'. 'After that, pretend we go over there' .
I remember having lists of future children's names when I was a girl. And I started my own hope chest when I was in college. All I really ever wanted was to have a family and walk with God.
A lot has changed since then. Now I have a real husband and real souls to shepherd and I only wish all I had to clean up was the corner of the yard! I suppose real life 'house' isn't nearly as simple and dreamy as make-believe. It can be messy and complex, and sometimes you don't know what comes next. And sometimes you cry and sometimes you love so deeply it hurts. Sometimes you wish you could tell those you are with to 'pretend you said this'!!
But in many ways, it is still as sweet and as fun as when I was a girl. I get so much joy out of making a grocery list. Or watching a baby sleep. Or folding laundry. Or staying up until midnight talking through life's issues with a teenager. Or buying great things to organize my house. Or having a wonderfully sweet meal out with my husband.
I guess all those years of playing house paid off.