Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Working for Play

Where do you invest your energy?  

This spring, all of our energy, all of our resources were put into a backyard pool.  Having a pool was more about cooling down on a hot day.  For us, a pool was another place to come together and connect; a cool oasis for us to laugh and play with each other.  We needed an easy place to let loose.  A magical space where we could be drawn in, where time would fly and silliness and shenanigans were the only name of the game.  A place were we wanted to leave our toys out so we could come back and spontaneously play once more.  But all that play required work first.

Up until this spring our backyard had a severe slope.  So even though we had enough space to put a pool in, our backyard wasn't suitable.  Sure, we could have an "on ground" pool installed, if we could afford it.  And last year we got quotes for retaining walls, another option that was out of our financial comfort zone.  But we weren't ready to give up.  We decided we wanted it badly enough to do the work ourselves.  

While John was working a busy on call, I started to dig up the backyard.  I didn't get very far, but I got far enough that we were committed.  The next day, we went to Home Depot and rented a sod ripper.  John removed a 15x30 foot section of grass.  There was definitely no turning back now!  With a shiny new shovel in each of our five hands, we went to work.  Bit by bit, and with John and Josh doing most of the heavy work, the slope was leveled.  Next step was building a wall to hold all of that newly moved earth.  On the following weekend, (the hottest of the year) the timber was delivered, hauled to the backyard and built into walls.

We were ready to play.

I think that the work has made the play sweeter.  Working together towards a common goal has brought us closer together and formed new connections between us.  We have a greater respect for our own strengths and skills, as well as for each others'.  Brene Brown says, "Playing is intense engagement in our lives."  I have to agree with her.  Playing with my family makes me feel intensely engaged with what matters most to me.  Loving Connections.  

Josh and Charlie diving for their squids.  

Kenzie girl on her pink floatie.  

John enjoying his family. 

boys being boys. 


sweet kenzie b. 

charlie chillin. 

Because we haven't finished the backyard landscaping, there is still lots of mud, and the mud wasps have been busy making nests.  Mud wasps are not aggressive, and they are fascinating to watch build.  The nest is constructed one row of mud at a time and comes together pretty quickly.  

John cooking lunch for us.