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.

The Beauty of Different


This blog post is inspired by Karen Walrond, photographer, blogger, and author of The Beauty of Different.  I am a big, big fan of hers and frequently read her tweets and beautiful Chookooloonks blog. A resident of Houston, Texas, she is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, married to an Englishman, and together they have a lovely young adopted daughter named Alex.  On her Beauty of Different blog she recently posted this:

I have come to believe that discrimination and bigotry will ONLY go away
when we realize there is beauty in difference.

                       Say it with me:
There is beauty in difference.
There is beauty in difference.
There is beauty in difference.

I couldn't agree with her more.  We are all the same and we are all different.  We must learn to accept and respect each other's differences.  How boring the world would be if everyone liked the same things, believed the same things, and even valued the same things!

Here is the beautiful video she made to promote her book.  Even if you never read her book, and you should see this; it is well worth watching.

The play therapist and children's book lover in me was reminded of the following books that share these views.  Oh, the wisdom of children's books!

It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
   Miles's favorite line: "It's okay to have a pet worm"

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler and illustrated by David Lee Csicsko.

If we all respected one another's differences we just might find PEACE.  Which is the theme of these books:

The Peace Book by Todd Parr (anything by him is good)

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub

Happy St. Patrick's Day especially to any of you who have Irish blood or wish you did!

P.S.  Yes, my dream is for Karen to photograph me some day.

Peace and Patience

sign at store in United Kingdom section of Epcot at Disney World

I may have been praying for PEACE this holiday season but the universe/God continues to bring lessons in patience.

Miles and I are/have been sick with different illnesses for the last 5-6 days including time that we were on vacation to Disney World = patience
Going to Disney at Christmas time means long lines = patience
Going to Disney with a slow moving 5-year-old = patience
Going to Disney with a mother in a wheelchair (due to a knee she'll have surgery on in a few days) = patience
Being in the airport 5 hours before our flight = patience

I'm reminded that I must look at the bright side of all of this.

All of us were together at different moments--my family of four, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and my brother-in-law's parents.
Miles being sick meant that he was super good in the airport and on the plane.
Miles being sick means lots of cuddle time.
My being sick means I've read 3 books in the last week.
My mother in a wheelchair meant that we were able to bypass long lines for some rides and her lap became a stroller for Miles.
All the people at Disney, especially from other countries, meant a spiritual feeling of connectedness at various moments.  When tons of these people left Magic Kingdom about 10:30 at night on Christmas Eve, it was cold, it started to rain and we didn't have an umbrella.  We were one, long, thick, slow-moving snake waiting to board the Monorail.  All I could do was laugh.

I've lots more to share, but that is enough for now...