Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Different Sort of Play

When I was little, we spent our summers living at Grandma's house picking blueberries by day and hanging out with aunts, uncles, and cousins in the evenings.  I remember one year when Aunt Carolyn and Aunt Joyce entered into a make-believe game that went on for a few weeks.  We pretended to be children who had lost their parents.  We were bravely surviving on our own, running from the officials who would put us in an orphanage.  We built a raft (some old wooden doors across a few saw horses) and had all sorts of adventures as we escaped by floating down the Mississippi River.  We "survived" on berries and veggies "stolen" from the farms we passed by.  I specifically remember munching on some delicious tomatoes and raw green beans from Grandma's garden as we hid from imaginary social workers, farmers, and policeman while battling storms, rapids, and other dangers. 

In our secure and comfortable lives, it was fun to pretend that we had what it takes to overcome all kinds of adversity.  

Pretending to fly to America to live with a family!

A family visiting New Day sent me some pictures they had taken of Claire while they were visiting.  This one shows a pretend adventure similar to the ones I used play.  Becca writes, "The kids were pretending they were going to America.  They would flip the light switch and say something in Chinese and then count down in English to take off to America to be with their families.  It was sooo cute!"

Hannah Samuels works at New Day.  She wrote about observing children at play.  She describes one child pretending to read some papers and then announcing the name of a  child  who has been matched to a family.  Having a family was cause for a pretend celebration for whichever child had been named.  
She describes the scene in a way that makes me cry every time I read it. 

Kids playing and pretending.  So similar.  Yet so different.

I pray that Claire will soon be so secure; that her make-believe can expand to exciting adventures, while having a mommy and daddy  to take care of her becomes something she just takes for granted.

No comments:

Post a Comment