W e watch Yael, hypnotized by her game. Patiently she sets up a park exactly like the one in real life, with swings, a carousel, a big slide, and a smaller slide. After she chooses a male figure and a little girl figure, she adds little children playing on the playground equipment.

I am amazed by the detailed scene that comes to life on our kitchen floor. Yael seems completely unaware of us, lost in her own world of imagination. She chooses a car and slides two Playmobil men into it, one in the front seat and one in the back. It isn’t black, like the real car was, but that doesn’t seem to bother her. She positions the car a little distance from her miniature park. Yael draws her knees up to her chin and studies her game. We hold our breath, waiting to see what she’s going to do next.

Yael moves the boy figure (who is obviously me) and the little girl figure (who is obviously her) along the path in the park. She brings them over to the tall slide and puts the little one up on top and then takes her off again. She moves the two figures to the carousel and then to the swings. Finally, she sits them down on a bench over to the side. That’s exactly what we did at the park!

Another boy figure is added. This must be Chaim, of course. Ima, Abba, and I watch closely as Yael concentrates on her game. She pulls the car closer to the children and opens the doors. She takes one of the men out of the car and walks him closer to the children. She moves the little girl to the slide, bounces her up the steps and then crams her into the little playhouse on top. Aha, so that’s where Yael had been hiding!

Yael slides first one man and then the other toward the two boys, and then puts them back in the car and throws it away. One boy is prone on the floor now. Yael brings the little girl out of her hiding place and over to the other boy, who represents Chaim. She moves both of them to the boy lying on the floor.

Yael sits back and looks from one figure to the next. Then, just like I repeated the story for my parents, she does it all over again from the beginning. She is so absorbed in this game that she doesn’t even notice we are all following everything she does. After the third time, Yael looks calm and relaxed. She gathers the pieces together into the carton containing all the Playmobil pieces.

Yael notices a bright yellow school bus and picks it up, hugging it like a teddy bear. She lies down on the floor and peeks into the tiny windows. She rolls the wheels back and forth with a dreamy expression on her face.

“She doesn’t really need words, does she?” I ask my mother.
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 699)