This is what play sometimes looks like at our house
The night before my son’s much-anticipated play date, he asked me where the name “play date” came from. He wanted to know who had made it up.
My husband and I looked at each other, rather impressed that Ryan would even think of that question in the first place.
And while we didn’t have an answer for Ryan, we also had a bit of information that made us sound quite old to our son -- when we were kids, no one even used the term “play date.” Back when we were kids, everyone just casually said they were “going over to play at a friend’s house.”
It seemed much more casual then. And maybe it was. Nowadays, parents have all these rules -- both spoken and unspoken. For example, prior to the play date, I asked Ryan’s friend’s mom if there were any dietary restrictions for her son. (She had said no, and the boys wound up snacking on popcorn and water.)
Rides home aren’t as easy now as they used to be. Booster seats are needed, even for a three-minute car ride for boys who are seven years old.
But, on the flip side, when parents ask their children, “How was your play date?” they don’t have to settle for a nondescript answer of, “It was fine.” Because during Ryan’s play date, I was able to take some pictures of the boys (with their consent) and send it to Ryan’s friend’s mom. It was an easy way for me to let her know her son was fine and having a good time.
And even if it’s no longer called “playing at a friend’s house,” the bottom line is that when it was done, two boys enjoyed each other’s company, played together nicely, and my son had a good time hosting his “play date.”