There is something to be said, though, about complete and utter unscheduled play. In the Balkans, you have "summer." These folks are experts at unscheduled play. The coffee shops, shady parks, lakes and swimming pools are packed with people. My son compares the scene at the public pool complex down the road to "ants on an anthill." It's an apt description. All day, everyday, children play. They sleep in. The play until the sun sets. Then they sleep in.
At first the kids were a bit lost, "Mom, what can we do?"
"Anything you want, within reason."
Huh. Eventually, they would wander off and the next thing I knew, I'd hear pounding in the garage, or my daughter would ask me to thread her needle, or my son would ask if he could wash the car (who would have thought that could be so much fun? Score!). After a few days, they stopped asking the question and after breakfast would disappear.
I was the support team. I completed health and safety inspections of workplaces and practices (my own personal OSHA), helped find supplies, practiced mediation (and sometimes, meditation), fed the masses, bandaged the injured, cheered them on, and did whatever else needed to be done by an adult ("No! Only I get to use the axe!"). Most of the time I just watched these beautiful little creatures, sweaty, dirty, and, oh, so happy. This is one of the things the Balkans got right.
Today, it's just me, the dog, and the computer. The silence is a wonderful thing. Sort of. I can't help but miss the laughter bubbling from the yard. Besides that, my car already has a layer of dust on it.