Blow Your Horn!

"Blow Your Horn"


The other day as I was leaving a store I heard children yelling, "Blow your horn!" I stopped to see what was going on when I saw arms bent at the elbow, hands held high in a fist while moving them all in one movement.  Then they started squealing in laughter, clapping their hands, jumping up and down as the truck slowly passed them sounded its horn.


I was taken back to a memory of my parents showing us my sisters and me how to do this when passing semis on our yearly road trips to Tennessee. In keeping tradition, I showed this to my children who in turn showed it to their children.


It was so refreshing seeing these children clapping, jumping and yelling in excitement when the horn was blown.  Especially since the weeks prior, the news was filled with reports of children shooting each other, parents killing children, children starving, children being bullied, children on drugs, children being sold, and the incline of children with mental health issues.


My heart ached for these poor children who had no youth.  "Where were the parents? Who was watching the children? Why wasn't anyone looking out for them? What kind of family life did they have? Why didn't God step in and stop this?"


I would give my views while sitting with friends having coffee but, that's not going to change anything.  I have donated or worked with organizations that help children in distress, but that was occasionally.


So, what can I do?


What I thought of, as insignificant as it might seem compared to the trials of the world, was use this blog to encourage all adults to play with children.  Play doesn't care if both parents are in the home, or it is a single parent home, no matter where you live, no matter what your income, no matter what your race. Play is non-judgmental.  Play is universal.


But play isn't as easy as it sounds for children need to be taught how to play without a screen in front of them.  I used to think this should be directed to just parents, but I am seeing more and more of us grandparents glued to a screen.   This means all adults must put away our cell phones, turn off the T.V., and put away the laptop/iPad the whole time we are playing.  


So, what do you do if you can't have a screen in front of you? Simple... jump in a mud puddle, make mud cakes, look for "tropical fish" in the creek, ride a bike, go for a walk, look for animal shapes in the clouds, bake making the biggest mess you can, color, play flashlight tag using a real flashlight not the one on your phone, dress up in old clothes, put on a play, snuggle while reading a real book not an electronic one, make up stories, crafts, or come up with ideas on your own. No googling.  Use your imagination. Play is unlimited.


Whatever ideas you come up with help keep this tradition alive. Show a child how to make a truck blow its horn. Then do it one more time for the child who could not be.



"The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy."

                              Author unknown


"It's a happy talent to know how to play"

Ralph Waldo Emerson






©Melinda Sutherland 1/2018

















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