BE WITH ME PLAYSEUM
Where it Began!
It was in January 2007 after my fourth child had just turned nine months old when I came to the decision to stop working and be home full time. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I can’t say it has been easy though. Without family nearby to help us mixed with the crazy fast paced DC life; my husband and I knew that we needed to stop and reevaluate our lives before we dangerously crashed. We dropped much from our schedules and said “no” to things that we had commonly said “yes” to without thought. We needed a change as a family. We came to the conclusion and agreement together that we had been given but a few years to raise-up, train, discipline and educate our children. Even within those years we would have only a few precious quality God given moments to instill the heart of God and the joys of life into our children.
Time goes fast. As parents we know this! By tomorrow all those things we run after today will be gone. We all want the best for our children, so they can experience the most, thrive in the world and take hold of all that the world has to offer.
Once I became a fulltime stay-at-home mom I realized there were few places where I, as a mom, could go in the DC area with my child and leave feeling good about my parenting. The other alternative was to sign them up for endless classes without me. As I began to journal my thoughts one day I found myself saying “Mom, all I ever wanted from you was for you just to “be with me when I was young.”
Two weeks after my mom passed away I sat on the couch, unable to sleep, with a pen a paper in hand sensing something new was about to be born. My pen was moving slower than my mind as I tried to keep up with my thoughts drawing sketches, taking notes and ultimately laying out plans for a place where children and parents can just BE themselves.
I began to dream of a warm welcoming place where parents, nannies and children could come, create and relate with one another and experience the love that family, play and books offer. I envisioned a place that had no gimmicks, nor memberships, a place that was cheap enough that those who have more than two children could easily afford. This place would not only come along side and support families here but by doing so we would send finances far away to pull orphan children off the streets and help find them families of their own.
This dream began in 2007 on a piece of paper. Each day it continued to grow on countless napkins as my kids and I would sit around in Starbucks, McDonalds and Panera and dream together. Their input and drawings of what they envisioned, along with multiple trips to Children’s Museums up and down the East Coast, prayer and a lot of patience helped birth a new kind of place for children and parents alike. Together as a family we present to you the Be with Me Playseum -Where kids create and parents relate.
As a mother of four, having worked out of the home, in the home and at times stayed at home I can relate. I have been working directly with children and art since 1998 by directing summer camps, after school care, community events, Sunday school programs for churches and kids global outreaches.
Here we are in 2009, 3 years later the dream has become a reality. The Be with Me Playseum has been birthed! No one in the 70’s would have ever predicted that more children would be visiting Phychologists than their grandparents, or that the divorce rate would raise 700% or that the most recommended need of today’s child is to give them “unstructured playtime with parents” From one mom to another, I invite you to come to the Playseum and enjoy your child as you watch him or her create, play and read while you take opportunity to connect with other adults, interact with your child or take that much needed little break of sanity with your own book while your child is right nearby.