“We should live out our lives playing at certain pastimes”
–Plato’s Laws, book 7, paragraph 803e.
Life. My daughter’s life as a high school student looking toward university. My life as a professional and a Mom.
Complicated. Complex. Confusing.
And I spend a lot of time wondering, where is our energy best spent. Cleaning the house? Losing weight? Beating my head against bureaucratic walls at work?
And shouldn’t I volunteer more? and get cosplay daughter self-defense lessons? Make her study geometry more? Maybe with a tutor? Shouldn’t I go get a part-time job to save more for university? For retirement?
Maybe. Probably. But she and I can only do so much, worry so much and try our best before it’s time to do something else.
Like make foam armor in the garage.
As modern women, my daughter and I are confronted with an ocean of competing priorities and causes, chores and requirements. And we do our very best to meet them. We keep the house tidy(ish), care for our friends and family and do our work.
But beyond that, I firmly believe that WE NEED TO PLAY.
and play and cosplay together.
For a type-A college professor with a highly developed, old-school Protestant work ethic, this can be a harder thing to get my head around. Especially in a culture that increasingly demands that I make my house, my body and my wardrobe more and more perfecter and fabulous all the time.
Etc. etc. etc. Don’t even get me started on the articles on what clothing I am no longer allowed to wear because I am over 40.
Some of that advice is probably good for somebody somewhere, but I’ve made a decision.
I DON’T CARE.
I’ll take the happy, creative, supportive forums of a cosplay site or guild any time over the scoldy internet and media lifestyle shamefest.
The cosplay community encourages us. It lets my daughter and I “play at the certain pastime” of costuming- talking about shows and books, trouble-shooting ideas and challenges and then going off to weekend-long party/conventions together.
It’s a break from geometry and university administration, it’s a breath and a laugh. It’s a topic of conversation for car rides and weeknight suppers (my teenager TALKS to me!) and a sense of accomplishment in an otherwise sad and defeating world.
I believe that Cosplay daughter and I should live out our lives reading, discovering, costuming and cosplaying. For sure.
But also: riding carousels, visiting the zoo and jumping on trampolines with friends.
I hope you all do too.
(or find those certain pastimes that let you PLAY.)