Play Therapy Helps When Life Wreaks Havoc

Miles with his beloved Honda Civic, Sept. 2010

2 happy kids on the day we got our new car

Sept. 25, 2010

I have missed you blog.

One reason I've been away is a car wreck last Monday.  No one hurt.  I wasn't even in the car.  Long story involving a hill, another car, and a ditch.  But my son's beloved Honda Civic is all bunched up, so to speak.  And it's probably gonna be awhile until it's fixed.  If it's worth fixing at all.

After it happened, I picked up Miles from school and told him the story.  (He wasn't present when the accident occurred.)  He seemed a little sad.  When we got home he immediately got out a bunch of his cars and crashed them over and over.   A couple of days ago he drew a picture of the car before the wreck. 

Today he's been asking each of us in the family to draw pictures and put them in this old tie box.  He referred to it as a jewelry box, illustrating the preciousness of its contents.   So I have carefully added mine and have become a part of my son's creative ritual.  I didn't teach him to do this.  I didn't tell him to do this.  It came completely on his own.  Miles, in his 6-year-old wisdom, is using his play as therapy.  Because play heals.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, events in Libya.  Births and deaths.  A cancer diagnosis.  New jobs, new bosses, new schools.  The usual transitions.  Sometimes life wreaks havoc. 

Even we adults can learn something from young children.

We too can use art and play and ritual to bring us some peace.

Last night my friend Liz wrote this post that I didn't read until now.  She shares a story of what could be called a little ritual with her daughter.  Just hearing her voice brings me some peace.

Peace to you in whatever might be wreaking havoc in your life.