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Finding Your Person

Maddie and Mabel book cover standing up in front of Maddie and Mabel illustration of them standing.

Growing up we lived in a town that came alive during the summertime but was sleepy in the
winter. There were very few people who lived in our neighborhood year round. It was just us. We
spent so much time together, the two of us and our imaginations. That was all we needed.

We could spend hours under a blanket fort or setting up shop beneath a chair to be car
mechanics. The couch became an airport counter in an instant, the stairs, the perfect stage to
perform our shows. We were each other’s built-in play date. Each other’s built-in best friend.

As sisters, we are a constant. No one quite understands us like we do. We know each other’s
stories. We know the what, the who and most importantly, the why. The inside and the out.

It doesn’t matter if we talk five times a day or don’t talk for five days. What matters is that we can
reach out whenever for whatever we need. We are each others’ touchstones. We hope that
everyone can find that someone in their lives, sibling or otherwise. Their Maddie or their Mabel,
whomever that may be.

—by Kari Allen and Kelsey McGloin

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The Relativity of Time and Play

Where does a month go? A day? A year?

Many conversations I’ve had in the past weeks included a discussion of time, and how, in our current state, it seems to have both sped up and slowed down. How the time-space continuum seems to have shifted in pandemic life. How our days blur together, but a single day disappears in a blink.

One of the things I love about children’s play is the suspension of time. They are completely absorbed in the action and their imaginations. Children’s play is often used as the ultimate example of “being in a state of flow.” Reading can create a similar lovely escape.

As adults, how often are we finding anything close to flow? What are we choosing to put into our days (perhaps even passively)? Whom are we permitting to spend our most precious and unquantifiable resource—our minutes here—for us?

As adults, we need to play, and perhaps now more than ever. Not just with the children in our lives, but with our own state of being. Put on your favorite song and dance. Build a tower of some sort, whether with blocks or Legos or playing cards. See if you can still somersault.

Giving yourself permission to play might seem like the absolute most unnecessary thing to do while in survival mode. But play can serve as the pause button so many of us are seeking right now.

(You’ll thank yourself for using that pause button, and the kids in your life will likely notice as well.)