Playing with Theo is an exercise in patience. Or, nearly everything is an exercise in patience. When it comes to playing, though, the “games” that Theo wants to play, there is a lot of doing the same action over and over. He finds joy in running his trains across the same three foot stretch of floor, back and forth and back. He will play chase, making laps through the house, for hours on end. Sometimes it feels like hours anyway. And as I mentioned before, he is perfectly content scooping dirt from one pile to another.
I am struck by his acceptance of this repetition. I can’t decide yet if it’s just that everything is so new to him. Part of his activity is experimentation. He doesn’t have enough experience to know yet if this time will be different, if this time, the stuffed animal he throws in the air will just keep floating, like a bubble cast about on the breeze, rather than fall back to the ground as it has every other time he has tossed it. I know this is part of his process, but at times I think he also finds comfort in the iteration.
There is something serene about performing the same task over and over, without any immediate goal or intention. Like a zen garden. Some people find housework relaxing. Or mowing. That’s not my jam exactly, but I can see how they get there. Woodworking is probably more in my wheelhouse. Whittling. Taking an object and honing it, running it over with a knife or some other tool through a multitude of strokes. I think writing can be like that on occasion as well.
Not so much the idea generation and certainly not the editing, but the craft, the word play, when the sentences seem to meld together on their own and I cannot take much credit for the final product, those moments have a quality to them. Not a mindlessness exactly, but a disconnection. A feeling of letting the words pass over me or through me.
I like to believe this is Theo at play, exploring the new and embracing the familiar. I like to believe this is me at play too.