True to her name, our baby monkey fell from the (what else!) monkey bars three weeks ago and broke the wrist and elbow of her dominant arm. She has been restricted from physical education, recess in the playground, swimming, beach, etc etc. Considering how hot it’s been in Los Angeles lately, we pretty much had been keeping her cool indoors, as the number one enemy of a cast is moisture such as sweat. Most of her weekend extracurricular activities such as swimming and martial art classes were put on hold. All except for one, her piano lesson, as she can still play with her left hand.
On Friday night, as she settled down in her bed, she proclaimed, “we are going to have a relaxing and fun weekend camp! I am the camp counselor. I am giving you a pep talk: we will do something relaxing and fun, ok? We will play games where nobody wins or loses; it will be very relaxing.” Oh gosh, my six-year-old is giving me a pep talk about relaxation. Alright, I can relax just as well as anybody. Granted, I take great pride in my ability to multi-task and enjoy having full control of our daily activities down to the minutes. Having a whole weekend with no scheduled activities besides her piano lesson was an uncharted territory.
But alright, I can (try to) relax and have fun. “Well, you know if you want me to relax, perhaps you can tell me first what it is that we will be doing.” I inquired nonchalantly. “You’ll see, you will just have to listen to me and it will be so much fun!” she giggled then yawned as she closed her sleepy eyes.
The following day, Plum and Monkey King decided to name our weekend camp the “Rela-Fun Camp”, in order to highlight the relaxing and fun vision of its founder.
After her piano practice, she summoned, “Ok, Mommy you follow Daddy and Daddy, you follow me”, and gathered the monkey clan into our home office. She had in her hands a stack of beautifully decorated Japanese origami papers, along with some old photographs and postcards. “Look, this photograph is taken by Ama: it is a picture of a flower. Here is a postcard of Mount Fuji and this is the Japanese garden from Portland. What do they have in common? They are all about nature. So for our Rela-Fun camp, we are going to make nature.” She handed out pieces of origami paper and we proceeded to work.
Five minutes then ten went by, we each worked at our desk, quietly, with the utmost concentration. I decided to make paper flower and animal cutouts and arrange them onto a construction paper. MK decided to make Mt Fuji and Plumster decided to work on a surprise project that we were not allowed to see.
30 then 45 minutes went by, I looked around our home office, and I had to admit: Yes! It was relaxing AND fun. The purity of harvesting our creativity and producing a piece of art with no modern day interruption touched me deeply. Plum hummed softly a melody she was making up at the moment, and I smiled at her. She returned with a grin so big and bright that I had to tell her, “you know Plum, your Rela-Fun Camp is way relaxing and fun! You are absolutely brilliant! Thank you!”
Her surprise project? A beach with a palm tree, sand, and a dolphin jumping out of the waves in 3D! I suppose this kid misses her beach, being a California baby after all.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR A RELAXING AND FUN WEEKEND WITH YOUR LOVED ONES? I would love to hear from you!