Not with a pretend dog, mind you, but with the heady pretense of being a dog who must fetch. Whoever said children left to amuse themselves outdoors "get bored" was surely mistaken. As Patrick worked on the shelves for the fourth weekend in a row, the tormented buzz of the saw creeping through the back door, the ladies had their own ideas about the proper way to spend a Saturday morning.
I caught them unawares- they didn't see me in the window taking photos- which makes this "pure play" even more enchanting to a mother who thinks playing pretend is quite possibly the best way to spend one's childhood.
One happy dog brings the stick back to Milla. One mother stands laughing and clapping in the window. One lesson of parenting is reinforced- they don't do what we say, but they always do what we do. My children keep my conscience alive and kicking. I can never repay for this gift- or for the many other ways in which they bring joy and wonder to life.