Never too old to play
“My husband is deployed for months at a time, and it can be stressful to hold down the fort with two young kids. During his last tour, my mom kept asking if I’d come over and rake her leaves. She knew I was stretched to the limit, but she kept badgering me, so I reluctantly agreed.
“Aggravated and impatient, I arrived at her house and was surprised to hear peals of laughter coming from the backyard. I followed the sound and saw my 70-year-old mom and some neighborhood kids tossing leaves at one another. Their eyes danced with delight and there wasn’t a rake in sight. It reminded me of when I was small and Mom and I had our ‘leaf wars.’
“When Mom saw me, she said, ‘When life gets stressful, it can feel so good to rewind for a bit and just act like a kid again, don’t you think?’ Shaking my head, I picked up a bunch of leaves, laughed and joined in the fun.” —Kate Dona, 47, Boston