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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

When I Play Alone

This story is inspired by my grandchildren.

When I play alone I imagine castles in the air, with swirling clouds all around.

I can pretend to fly on the wings of a bird to the tippity-top, balance there and gaze down at the clouds below.

When I play alone sometimes I build a fort between my couch and the coffee table. My stuffed animals sit there shoulder to shoulder as we squeeze together in the dark, where we are safe and warm. I whisper to them that they are all safe with me; that they won’t get sick. I make sure that their paws are squeaky clean before they come in.

Sometimes when I play alone I gaze out of the window and see the people passing by, one by one, masks covering their faces. I give each of them a special name and decide for them whether they are going to the store or just for a walk to see other people walking with masks in the neighborhood.

When I play alone I climb onto the window seat and watch the birds through the windows. They become my friends; Roger Robin looking for worms, Silly Sue Sparrow pecking for seeds and the Cheeky Chickadees taking baths in puddles. I knock on the window and sometimes they look up at me, are surprised and then fly swiftly away, their wings flapping unevenly up and down.

When I play alone I pile books on top of each other until the pile reaches my knees, one book balanced on top of another. I sit high on my bed, open one book at a time and peek inside. In each book I have a different friend to keep my company. My book friends make me laugh and smile and sometimes I do silly things just like them!

When I play alone I do a race from room to room, getting faster and faster each time I run around. The pictures on the walls pass by me in a blur. I get sweatier and steamier until I fall onto the floor and gasp for breath and giggle at how fast I am!

When I play alone I create different worlds in the four corners of my living room. One corner is restaurant world and the next is mermaid world (my favorite!), the third corner is gymnastics world and the fourth is circus world. I scamper from corner to corner and meet new friends in each world. I can swim in the ocean and swing on a trapeze, eat a mile high chocolate ice cream cone and do a cartwheel without even leaving the room!

When I play alone, sometimes I lie down in the middle of the floor on my back and stare up high at the ceiling, which seems miles away. I imagine that I am sleeping in the desert under a million stars or under a tall striped circus tent with elephants and tigers running nearby. I imagine birds swooping and even people walking upside down on the ceiling! The ceiling is my movie theater and I can watch whatever I want!

When I play alone the living room is my dance floor and I can swing and sway, boop and bop, twirl and swirl to the music. My stuffed animals are my audience and they love how I dance, especially when I do my double twirl and kick!!!

Sometimes when I get tired of playing alone, I go and snuggle with my mom or climb on my dad’s back and he bounces me around the house. I watch my little brother wiggling in my mom’s arms and trying to crawl. I visit my grammy and gramps and cousins and their new puppy on the phone and we talk, sometimes all at the same time! It can get very noisy! Sometimes I dance for them and they ooh and ahh when I do my special moves.

One day soon mom says that I’ll be able to go back outside. She says that people will stop getting sick and we will be able to have playdates, go to pre-school, swing on swings, see grammy and gramps and my cousins right here in our house! Daddy says that when we can go out again he will take me to my favorite park and then out for pizza. I can’t wait!!! For now though, there is a castle waiting for me in the air and I am going to balance on the tip of its roof and look at the clouds swirling below!


And to Grover from Sesame Street, who would think that your song from so long ago would inspire this story? Sometimes When I am All Alone

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