ANGELA GARWOOD: The importance of play

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Angela GarwoodWhat do you want to be when you grow up Mummy?”

It always amuses me when my five-year-old voices such queries because, while all very sweet and innocent, they’re also ridiculously appropriate for my current circumstances.

“I’m not really sure darling, lots of things, what do you want to be?”

My list is just as long as hers, and not all that dissimilar.

“Artist”, “Actor”, “Superstar” to name a few potential paths.

We dream big in our house. Sky’s the limit. She’ll probably decide before I do.

Life has flown by very quickly over the last few years.

Partly because I hit my twenties and I am still at that very confused, uncertain, not-quite-sure-what-my-purpose-in-life-is stage, and partly because the same year I celebrated my 21st, my daughter turned one.

For the last six years, I have been navigating the minefield that is motherhood while also attempting to explore my career options and figure out what exactly I might find fulfilling.

It’s been a very messy, very challenging, very exciting period of time.

A rollercoaster yes, but a manageable one.

I’d say I’ve enjoyed the majority of the ride, even if at times I am covered in a tiny person’s vomit.

And breastmilk, let’s not forget the breastmilk.

No, I haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up, though I do love discussing it with Maia. My little dreamer.
They say spend time with people you want to learn from. Well she’s my number one favourite teacher. And my current favourite lesson? The importance of play.

Being an only child, she’s used to playing alone and I must say she’s very good at it.

I regularly hear her talking, laughing and singing to herself, I’m envious of all the fun she’s having and the magic she’s creating. I quietly observe, in awe and admiration.

The mystical world she creates as she lets her imagination run wild, the colourful characters she plucks out of seemingly nowhere, the songs she so passionately makes up.

All a gentle reminder that, I was like that once. We all were.

Playful, curious, free-spirited little dreamers.

Thankfully, one’s inner-child remains throughout life. It never truly leaves you, no matter how trying life becomes.

Our inner-child is always there, full of wonder, leading us towards excitement, joy and creativity every chance it gets, asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

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