I am a mother. I have four children. I think of them as young children but am regularly reminded that they are no longer small. My baby is 14 . . .and a half. I no longer need to make them a peanut and butter sandwich, or fix their hair in the morning, or pour their Cheerios. I don't have to make their lunches for school or wash and fold their clothers. No diapers, bottles, or spare clothes are packed up before we leave the house. I don't have to worry about car seats, or boosters or keeping the "big" kids in the backseat because of the airbags. And indeed, I do not miss taking out a second mortgage on my house to buy diapers or formula.
But I do miss playing. I miss the trips to the library for preschool story time, sitting at the park and watching them swing from the bars, helping to dress a doll, and building a whole city out of Legos and Lincoln Logs. I miss watching them discover a new miracle on a walk. Those precious moments of time will remain in my memories and I look forward to continuing some of those things with future grandchildren.
In the meantime, however, there is still the "boardgame". There is something about the winter months that make my adult children crave playing a board game. In fact a few Christmas's ago, I reinstated the tradition of buying a new board game as a family gift. I love the simplicity of sitting around the table with my family and playing dominos or a card game or Pictionary. We laugh, we talk, we engage in healthy competition, we eat popcorn or drink tea. Sometimes on a Sunday evening, we invite the grandparents over to have dinner and join us in a game. On those nights, full of simple pleasures, I go to bed happy, content and with an overwhelming feeling of peace. I look forward to the spring and summer - but I secretly do love those long winter nights.