Homebodies - People always need to have fun


By Rita Friesen

I had the opportunity to meet with several youngsters that I didn’t know really well. Before embarking on a teaching session, I took time to get acquainted. Asking questions about favourite colours, birthdays and ages, and special toys, I gained some insight into interests and strengths. 

One little person didn’t have a favourite toy, but does have a “blankey”. I could identify with that! The youngest in our family had/has a rag tag remnant of her blankey. Hers had been loving created by an elderly member of the faith family. It went to private school and university with her. Blankeys I understand.

For every question I posed, I offered my answer as well. I first asked if someone my age could have a favourite toy. One child gave me an abrupt laugh and a “no”. Another interrupted with an “of course you can. People always need to have fun.” I concur. I confessed that my toys are also my pets. Real live dogs, not stuffies that lifelessly sit on my bed, but real warm bodies that warm my ageing bones!

I deeply appreciated the insight of a child, the wisdom expressed. We do all need to play, to have fun, to laugh. There is/should be, a progression in what activities bring this joy. For some of my more senior friends the light in their eyes and the warmth of their smile when sharing a cup of tea or a stolen visit, equates with the joy of any new doll, train set, or Lego. (Remember when toys were not battery operated or dependant on invisible air waves?) There must be something, in each day, to cause a flash of an involuntary smile. A sigh of deep contentment. It can be warmth of the blankey snugged around us as we court sleep. A worn stuffed animal tucked in the curve of an arm. Or, a call offering the sound of a loved ones voice; music swirling, mounting in crescendo and ebbing to a soft conclusion; fingering a heritage tea cup filled with a steaming fragrant memory; softly paging through the photo album, each picture triggering a poignant reminder.

I confess that I have to work a little harder for the flash of a smile. It comes. It comes with the invitation to coffee or supper. It comes when the night sky is enlivened by the dancing Northern Lights, when the sun glistens of the brilliantly white snow. It comes as the gentle sigh when I find an opportunity to serve, to meet the needs of others, to share thoughts, dreams and dreads. It comes when the time spent crafting a quilt from fabric scraps – a concrete toy!- becomes a warming gift. 

 Thankfully, we are never too old to have toys. To have fun. To bring joy to others with our joy.