Jul 7, 2017

Play is one of the hardest things for me to do. Though it shouldn’t be since I have three sons and all they want to do is play.

This past week I finally, really played. Usually, I try to play with my boys but find myself thinking about my to-do list, the next writing projects, work, a million other things. Or I find myself observing us playing and think, “Am I playing enough? Am I playing too much? Am I doing this right?” And I take lots of pictures to show that I was “present” while playing with them.

But this past weekend I really, truly played. We went to Dallas and played at Nickel Mania. I was so engaged in playing the games with my kids, trying to help them get the most tickets, and enjoying the time with them that I forgot my lists, I didn’t just observe us, and there are no pictures to prove any of it. When I really let go and play, the only proof exists in the memory because I’m so engaged in the act.

We also played in the pool at the hotel every afternoon. I haven’t laughed with my kids like that in so long. I want to laugh like that more. I want to let go more and enjoy these little boys because soon they will be gone. Mostly, I want to let go and really play.

This post is written from a prompt in the Five Minute Friday community. Every Friday Christian writers join together to write for five minutes, no editing, on one prompt. Come join us at We’d love to have you! 

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  1. Dana H.

    I love this! I am the same way with my to-do list. I am with you, I want to let go and really play. Visiting from Five Minute Friday. 🙂

    • Tara L. Cole

      We want to and yet it’s so hard! Thank you for visiting!

  2. Tara

    I think we all need to take time to play. Too often we get caught up in our daily tasks. I’m in the 5 spot this week.

    • Tara L. Cole

      Yes, it’s so easy to get stuck on our to-dos and not take time to play.

    • Tara L. Cole

      Yes, when I take a bunch of pictures, it’s a sign I’m not really present. Thank you for visiting!

  3. Somer

    I’ve experienced all of these feelings and thoughts lately.
    I think the idea of not ‘documenting’ everything your kids do with a picture, but rather a memory carries a lot of weight and value.
    U miss the authenticity of the experience when you are always trying to hold it captive by a picture.
    Great post.

    • Tara L. Cole

      Yes, yes, yes! Somer, that’s it exactly.

  4. Joanne Viola (@JViola79)

    Tara, you raise a most interesting thought for me … perhaps to play well and play hard, we need to step away from our typical environment as it will beckon us back. A trip to the park, a walk, a bike ride … even the simple, can be a means for us to play. And may we do it sooner rather than later. Wonderful post!

    • Tara L. Cole

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, Joanne. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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