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One of the things I’d forgotten from my own childhood was this concept of dread that we haven’t had enough time to play. You want to get up earlier in the morning so you have more time to play. You don’t want to go to bed yet because you only had a little bit of time to play. You want to scarf down your dinner and push away from the dinner table so you can get in some more play. There is a desperation and exasperation involved in trying to squeeze in maximal play; I see it now but had totally forgotten this feeling.
Obviously, parents didn’t understand this and, being more mature, knew that it was a silly concern: bedtime and sleep are more important, proper nutrition is more important. And playing, with your cars or whatever? What’s the big deal. You can do that tomorrow. When I was a kid, I assumed I would understand all that when I grew up, so a part of me knew I was in the wrong and was arguing the losing side.
But actually, now that I’m on the other side of the great debate – I think the kids have it right after all.
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