How often do you play with your spouse?
The honest answer, for me, is not that often. Why is that?
Last night, something sparked in me. I don’t know what, but suddenly I was feeling very playful. Poking, prodding, irritating, just being downright silly. My husband was wondering who had abducted his wife and replaced her with this lighthearted playful woman? At the same moment that he was calling me a freak, he was laughing and teasing with me. It was fun. Later I started to think about the art of playing. Why don’t I do it more often?
When we were first married, long before children, we used to play a lot. We would take long bike rides and play catch in the front yard. We played scrabble all the time. I know, for some, Scrabble is the last thing they would want to play. Those people have never played with my husband. He used to make me laugh so hard at the letters that he would try to pass off as words and the definitions he would have ready when challenged. We would often have wrestling matches to death…. ok not to the death but to the point that you felt you were going to die from laughing so hard.
We have two young kids. I play a lot with them. With my children I have no problem pretending I am on a magic carpet ride to Grammy’s house or that I am a yellow Lamborghini racing to the finish line. With my children it is easy.
Truth be told, at the end of the day, I am usually beyond tired. My brain is fried from work, my patience is at its limit with the dog. If my son asks me one more question I feel like my head is going to burst (then he asks the question, surprising me, my head actually doesn’t burst). I have had it with my 8 year old’s homework. Basically, I am done for the day. Down for the count. The second that we get the kids to bed we both make a beeline to the couch to veg out in front of a recorded SNL or a rented movie. And once I am there, I feel like I never want to move again. Each day is a race to the finish, it seems, and completely exhausting.
I guess that explains my lack of desire to play more.
But something is wrong with that picture. I need to play more. It is not fair that the kids get all the fun.
Laughter makes me feel happier and laughing with someone makes me feel closer to them.
This morning, when my husband woke up he was still smirking at me from our silliness last night. Remembering our fun from the night before and feeling connected from it has started our day off right.
So I am going to challenge myself to find another moment to play this week. Whether it be a board game, a wrestling match or naked tag ( we did that once a long time ago. Now that was fun! ) I am going to start making an effort to be more playful and silly. I need to lighten up a little.
Today’s lesson to a better marriage: Don’t forget to play
Do you play?