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The Bliss Mistress Guide: Parallel Play

by Edie Weinstein


Two year olds often sit next to each other, engaged in activity such as painting, coloring or building towers out of alphabet blocks. They may occasionally look up from their intense concentration to see what their friends are doing. The concept was introduced by sociologist and researcher Mildred Parten in 1932, as she observed children engaged in the work of play.  As they developed, they learned to interact more cooperatively.

Although there are no toddlers in my living room, there are three adults; my son, his best friend and me. I refer to him as ‘Adam’s brother from another mother’. Adam and Eli came over after work to help design a new back deck. Adam also cooked a scrumptious curried shrimp over rice dish. I value his culinary skills and feel well-nourished physically and spiritually by his creations.

At the moment, I am sitting on the floor, propped up by pillows, Adam is watching a vampire movie on his cell phone, sprawled out on one sofa and Eli is on the other, texting on his phone. Once in a while one of us will comment on something we are doing and then return to our individual cocoons. We are sharing space if not activity. What would have felt weird now seems completely natural. Such is the social culture these days, via the marvels of modern technology.

One of the skills I have developed over the years is that of blocking out distractions. .  I can listen to music and write simultaneously, unless research and deep concentration are called for. This is a good thing, since in the film Adam is viewing, night stalkers and blood guzzlers have taken over New York City and the living humans are attempting to reclaim it. Suffice it to say that shrieking is part of it.

I am accustomed to living solo, having done so since Adam moved out a year and a half ago. I have gotten used to my clean, quiet house in which there is a place for everything and everything has its place. I’m not white glove clean, but given the sometimes unpredictable nature of my work, it helps to have some semblance of order. Even so, it sure feels nice to have company during the day when I have needed to go out of the house to be with people. My schedule varies and I write at all hours. Sometimes the stars are dancing as my fingers run across the keyboard and sometimes the sun is high in the sky. This afternoon saw thunderstorms with torrential rain and now brilliant sunshine as I pen this prose. 

Once they leave, I will likely turn on relaxing music that doesn’t involve crashing, moaning and groaning, as murder and mayhem ensue.

As I am finishing this article, I am relieved to find out from Adam that the humans are winning.

Edie Weinstein, LSW is a colorfully creative journalist, inspiring transformational speaker, licensed social worker, interfaith minister, BLISS Coach, radio host www.vividlife.me and the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into the Extraordinary. She calls herself an Opti-Mystic who sees the world through the eyes of possibility. www.opti-mystical.com


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