Six Perfect Words: I Just Love to Watch You Play

“I just love to watch you play.”

Jodi Pink Nallas Fall 95These are the six simple words I would like to tell my kids after every game, every performance, and every event. It’s the one thing I want them to know, and it’s been this way since…well, forever.

I remember my delight at watching them find their hands, accidentally bat their toy and then do it again on purpose. I loved watching them smile, then giggle, then sing when they discovered their voice. I could have watched for hours as they colored and drew, built and toppled, shaped and folded, wrote and re-wrote. The look of concentration on their face as they worked out what they “meant” was priceless. It’s etched on my memory. I just loved that. Just love that. IMG_3434

They wouldn’t have understood then why it gave me so much pleasure to watch them play. Yes, play, it is said, is the work of children, but it’s more. It’s discovery and daring. It’s success and failure. It’s frustration and elation. Watching children engage in this is like watching the moment of Creation itself. From nothing comes something, and they’re as surprised as I am at what turns up.


It’s mesmerizing, and that’s a good thing because had I stepped in, to guide the hand, balance the block, or re-write the sentence, it would all have ended right there. Instead, I watched in complete amazement with one thought: “I love to watch you play.”

So, today as I watch my children in their life of play, I sit amazed and mesmerized. Of course, now they have surpassed me. There is no temptation to interrupt or correct, just watch and smile, and if they’ll let me, I sing their praises. They know I love what they do, but mostly I love them and especially to watch them at play because that’s where I can see best who they really are and who they’re becoming.

“I love to watch you play”: the six best words in a parent’s vocabulary. Nothing else. No buts, becauses or excepts. We stop there, at play, because on the 7th word, we rest.girls atop hike


About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on May 12, 2015, in Body, God, In Action, Instinct, Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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