Thursday, April 16, 2009

Photostory Friday: Work and Play

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


"Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. And play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do."
  -- Mark Twain

The above quote is from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" -- one of my favorite books of all time. It comes at the place in the story where Tom, as a punishment from his Aunt Polly, is sentenced to white wash the fence. But Tom, ever resourceful, outsources the job to all the other boys of the village, by convincing them that it isn't work, but actually fun (he also convinces them to pay him for the privilege). 

I think about this concept a lot. 

Have you ever noticed, in your life, how close pain is to pleasure? Often it's simply a matter of intensity -- or, as in Tom Sawyer's case, obligation. 

My ancestors trekked across barren prairies and burning deserts because they had no choice, their freedom, and even their lives, depended on it. 

Today, I hike through burning deserts for fun. 

Which brings me to Emma (I find that I'm learning an awful lot of life's important lessons from my youngest daughter)...

When we moved in to our current home, last July, we found that we were the owners of a permanent dog run. We do not have a dog. We have no intention of getting one. The run sits on, and is bonded to, a large cement slab. It's a well made (immovable) structure. I have pondered all winter what to do with it. 




And apparently I wasn't the only one. 

As soon as the weather began to break this Spring, Emma and the other kids, moved in to the dog run, claiming it as their clubhouse. Emma will spend, literally, hours in this cage. As often as we'll let her, she takes her meals out there. She'll actually lock herself in.

 


Think about that.




If I were to punish Emma by locking her in a cage, I would go to jail. And rightly so. But, if Emma locks herself inside "for fun," it's a cute PSF. 




As a father and a husband, there is so much obligation, so much stress -- and I accept that. The rewards are worth the price. But, I find myself wondering how much of the stress of my life could be eased with a new perspective -- say from about 4' 1" off the ground. 

I think I'll take my dinner in the dog run tonight. 

30 comments:

Mom24 said...

I hope it works for you. Somehow, I think the magic wears off when you begin to approach 5 feet, and it would just feel like a cage.

What a wonderful girl she is. Great PSF.

Wayne said...

what cute pictures
thanks for sharing.

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I think that is so cute! Children do indeed teach us if we pay attention.

Be Blessed My Friend :)

Krystyn said...

Oh, the lessons we learn from our kiddos!

What a resourceful little girl your Emma is. Maybe you should let her decorate it up a bit...you know with some furniture or something. Give it some human touches.

manker said...

proving yet again "one man's ceiling is another man's floor"...
beautiful photogs

gp

C and C Mommy said...

Great story. Our dog run makes a great batting cage!!

Emily said...

yes, it's all about perspective. Emma seems to have a pretty good perspective herself.

Pam Emmons said...

Nice. Can we put Noah in there, too?

P.S. My word verification is dionlegg. What the heck is a dion legg?

kaye said...

sounds good, maybe I'll get one of those for myself

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

I think you and little Emma should have a tea party out there - or a picnic!

Corey~living and loving said...

oh how true it is. :) I my child used to play in our dog kennel as well. She was only two at the time. LOL I wonder if I ever blogged about it.

YOur writing is amazing. YOu have said, what I feel, only so much better.
happy PSF!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Perspective is where it lies, huh?
When I was a kid we had a cattle box (cattle trailer for semis) parked at the top of our drive, I'm sure it didn't look like a play house to my parents, but to us it was everything... we played there for hours and locked each other in this half or that, climbed on top and declared ourselves king/queen of the cattle box we even camped out on top..... perspective.

Maggie May said...

That is SO funny!
Well I think that all sorts of imaginative play comes into this. Emma can be a dog or she can use it for a little house or a cave or a magic island or a ship...... got the picture? LOL!

scrappysue said...

be careful they don't lock YOU in!!!

Aaron said...

So I have not posted in a while, I thought I would chime in and say something snarky...(that’s what you get for txting me all the time....PICK UP THE PHONE!!!)

#1 - I just finished Tom Sawyer...yeah, I am more like him than Huck Finn.

#2 - What the h*** is with that freaky ear thing on your blog...seriously that’s gross.

#3 - I try to cage my kids as often as occasion (and my wife) will permit...it doesn't work.

#4 - If you want to get rid of the dog run, I will help you take it out. You rent the jackhammer and I will help you take it out. It won't be easy but I am willing to help....that is....unless you get a dog.

Kelly Deneen said...

Emma sounds like such an awesome young girl. Yayy for a clubhouse! And the pictures are wonderful too. :)

Straight to Your Hart said...

Well that's what I tell my kids..it's fun to work!:)

To have a child's imagination..same as a cardboard box, blankets as tee pees, books, under the water bed hiding spot (and a green light, listening to Michael Jackson), trees, sticks, rocks, and so many other objects that only the imagination can play on! Yes...fond memories, I only hope my children will explore....

Cecily R said...

My family moved to Utah when I was ten and there was a dog run in our backyard too. I was instantly drawn to it (although I had no clue what it was used for). And YES, my friends and I spent hours in that weird cage. Hours. Emma and I are kindred spirits on this one.

You didn't need my inspiration on this one AT ALL. :)

Lindsay said...

I love what our kids have to teach US. It puts everything into perspective.

Sharon said...

Kids have amazing insights that we just don't get til we are lead to it by them! Love the PSF! Great shots too!

Great use of the dog run!

itsahumanzoo said...

My 3 year old loves my Aunt's dog crate. I don't know what the fascination with cages is, but I'm sure it will wear off soon. Here's my photostory. Check it out if you have time!

-Angela

Melissa said...

hmmmm.... where can i get one of those?? :)There are plenty of times i would love to put the kids in a cage... hee-hee, j/k (or am i??)

Momisodes said...

It is indeed truly amazing when you see things from their perspective.

A lovely PSF.

lisaschaos said...

Kids seem to always come up with ideas for fun that we might question. And am so glad you don't lock her in the cage for real. But I wonder, will she need a roof for summer?

Carebear said...

I LOVE this post. The pics are great, especially the close up of her hands. And the closing lines especially moved me - if we could all just see life from Emma's vantage point, huh?! Oh, and LOL at the hilarious breastfeeding story you left on my PSF! Hahaha!

Michelle said...

It is heart warming to hear that in todays high tech world that a little girl can still find fun inside a metal cage. :)

Honey Mommy said...

Isn't it amazing how kids have a totally different perspective on everything?!

Susan said...

Loved it!
There certainly is great joy in learning lessons and new perspectives from our children.

CC said...

Too cute!! And you are so right. Voluntary imprisonment versus in-voluntary. Sometimes the line is hazy. ;)

tommie said...

Gorgeous shots! Sounds like an amazing little girl.

Thanks for visiting my PSF