Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The eleventh word

As we once more review the series called basket of words.
We have had the opportunity to learn the meaning of courage, willingness, trust, tenderness, power, balance, change, rest, healing, and compassion.
Now our eleventh word will be: Play
It seems like a strange word to talk about but for someone in recovery from childhood trauma it is critical to be able to lighten up and play and perhaps for the first time not be under such a heavy emotional spirit.
Dictionary.com says: play is a general word for any form of activity, amusement, often undirected random or spontaneous fun.
as opposed to seriousness.
childhood should be a time for play 
During the summer my husband often volunteers for a group called 'Royal Family kids camp'.
It is a camp for children who are in the foster care system.
(They are always looking for trained counselors to volunteer.) /www.rfkc.org or http://royalfamilykids.org/
For one week they are transported to an undisclosed location and allowed to play and be the children they were meant to be.
On the first day of camp each child is given a handmade quilt that is theirs to take back home with them as a treasured keepsake.
They schedule activities for them which includes water swim time in a pool along with other assorted group sessions.
Then in the middle of the week they have what they call a group 'birthday party'.
This is very important as some children in very rough homes do not ever get a personal birthday party.
It is something that all children deserve but don't always receive.
They have a 'group' birthday cake and each one gets to participate.
It is a fun time and also a sad time for this is also the day the children realize soon camp will be over.
It is hard for them to think about going back to where they came from and into a more serious setting.
Play is very hard to learn if someone was never allowed to just be a child when growing up.
Children who have had to live in difficult environments tend to carry with them very heavy spirits and lot's of responsibility.
It is very sad.
Children need time to run and play carefree without worries or concerns.
For the adult who is in recovery learning to be spontaneous sometimes for the first time is very freeing.
They learn to play, color, swing on a swing, or even laugh out loud and be noisy.
I have seen some who have breathed a huge sigh of relief when they finally let go of the heaviness that surrounded them.
Sometimes when one is facing difficult memories or difficult 'times' internally they feel guilty when they play or begin to feel joyful.
It becomes an incongruent confused feeling because they feel like they should always have a serious 'spirit' around them.
For the adult in recovery from childhood trauma to relearn and live these simple things takes courage.
I found a quote by Anne Cassidy that fits this perfectly and really explains what I have been trying to explore with you:
(I don't know who this lady is but I like what she said)
"I have begun to appreciate the generational patterns that ripple out from our lives like stones dropped in water, pulsing outward even after we are gone.
Although we have one childhood, we relive it first through our children's then through our grandchildren's eyes."
That is so true.
I have learned through watching the children I can see hope and innocence and the freedom to be little ones.
Not all children have the chance to live a carefree life.
But it is the best 'choice for all' of them.
Agatha Christie says it very well when she said,
"One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood."
I will add for that very reason, our eleventh word is play.
Childhood should be a time for play.



2 comments:

Renee said...

Oh, I agree as a child who lived in a difficult environment that play is important. Safe, delightful, free play!

Trudy Den Hoed said...

How true, Sharon. I hadn't thought of it in that way. Sometimes I can still be far too serious. Maybe that's why I love playing with my grandkids more than talking with adults. :)

What a beautiful service you are doing for foster care children! Thank you for giving them a light of hope in the darkness!