Lately I've been spending a lot of time in the children's park, taking Anika along and listening in on the conversations and games that children play. Sometimes it reminds me of my childhood-the bossing around, the little new inventions and bickering and the laughter. Sometimes it reminds me of my adulthood, my right now, and how childhood is really a miniature version of adulthood-without the heavy ego trips, the massive hatred, the stressful competition and all.
Today I was listening in on the conversation between two teams-the boys and the girls in the park. It was truly a lesson in conflict resolution and couples therapy for me. I also came to believe that all we really want (adults and children, alike) is to cooperate and share resources. Here's what transpired:
(B= Boys; G= Girls, duh. P= Parent; we also had an other adult bystander ( a parent) who was roped in for conflict resolution)
One B to P : Uncle, look at these girls, they are calling us Buffaloes, apparently we are B for Boys and B for Buffaloes.
P: Looking at the girls askance.
G (almost all together): No uncle, that's not true, they are calling us worse names. G for Garbage, G for Gorillas, G for Galeej (dirty in Hyderabadi Hindi).
One B (Apparently, the group leader of sorts): No uncle, they didn't want us to play on the swing, they kept wanting us to go away. So I told them they can have the swing, the merry-go-round and the basketball stand and we get to keep just the slide. See I gave them three things and us boys, just have the slide.
G: We never asked for it. You were the one who gave it to us. Why are you complaining now?
B: (I think he was surprised that this was true! That he in fact separated the whole group into two while he also really just wanted to play on the girls side as well, or may be not I dont know but) oh well, you know what then? I am going to come to your side and play, lets see what you do.
G: You can come of course (getting up from the swing) and we will go play on swing.
P: (sort of as a passing remark and a conclusion) you all play together, if you fight then I will throw you all out of the park. (winking at me)
And in just a matter of minutes all of them were on the slide, taking turns to go down the slide, giving up that swing (the cause for all trouble) to little one's like Anika and her mommy.
All they wanted was to be friends, cooperate and get a turn at the slide, one person at a time. As adults we forget that so often.
There's always time for silly ladies who want to take a picture when they are busy running around. A time of stillness, enjoying the company and the game.
It's all really about cooperation and working together.
If all of life is a game then why not just be like children?