On Thursday, I arrived a little early to pick up my daughter from her school. I often do just so I can be on time and so that my son has time to ride around on a tricycle in the basement of the school before the bigger kids get there and zoom around at speeds that are not safe for my son or for them. Thursday, however, was pleasant, and one of the other parents was there with his daughter who will be in class with my son next year. We chatted away as the two played on the playground structure. Suddenly, my son was at the top of one of the more advanced ladder structures to climb up to the top platform. The ladder is made of vertical hoops that are almost as tall as he is, and they rise at an incline that end much taller than he is. He loved climbing up and never had an unsure moment on the equipment. Obviously he was ready; I sure wasn’t. My heart was in my throat the whole time!
Tag Archives: playground
My son is now figuring out how to climb in and out of his booster seat without any help. He makes for stools, chairs, and other furniture with gusto. He climbs playground equipment that months ago was just a jumble of unapproachable logs, ropes, and steel bars. He is climbing. Once he gets to the top, often with assistance, he does not yet have the requisite skills to get back down, so climbing is usually more of an upward thing than down. My sweating and nervous spotting of him makes sure that the downward path is not abrupt and dangerous. I suppose all instances of letting go before I think they are really ready will include some form of worry. Later, however, I just won’t be able to catch them when they fall.
On Monday, the weather was unusually warm, so I put my kids in the stroller, walked the half hour to my daughter’s preschool, and then set off on a completely unresearched adventure. My son and I hopped the T and then got off pretty soon because it was still crowded with rush hour traffic. While the stroller is compact for a double, people still get snarly. I do my best to either get in a corner and be out of the way or be by a door and exit the train to let folks on and off. Can’t please those inclined to be mad at any inconvenience.
We ended getting off at a stop that has easy access to the Esplenade, a walking and biking path next to the Charles River. We stopped on a dock for a snack and to watch the cars, trains, boats, and planes go by. At each one, and there are lots of cars to watch, my son would say, “Bye, bye car!”
We continued on, and soon after passing the Hatch Shell where the Boston Pops play for the Fourth of July, we happened upon a lovely playground with some of the newer types of structures including a climbing rock, a curvy path, a zip line, and much more. My son was especially entranced by a spinning structure that had a disc to stand on and a pole to hold as it rotated around. We returned to this after each exploration of other play structures. He also climbed up one level of a rope climbing structure meant for much older kids. I was spotting him, my heart was beating fast, but he was steady and smiling all the way up and down.
We will certainly be returning to this playground, and we will certainly take more unplanned walks. One never knows what wonderful resources or experience are just around the corner.
Today was just too fine to stay indoors. With my wife off at an a capella workshop all day, I decided to take the two kids downtown on the Red Line to the Boston Common and the Frog Pond. There is no water in it yet, but later in the summer, we will splash around with the hordes of others. The playground next to the pond is fun if crowded on a day like today. My daughter had fun racing around, climbing up the stairs, and zipping down the twisty slide. She still stays away from the other ways of climbing up the structures, but that will come in time.
After a two hour afternoon nap by my son, we wandered over to a nearby park with a suspension bridge and slide that my daughter has conquered. We never got on it. After some swinging and toddling by my son, we headed toward the bridge, but clear body language told me that we needed a quick return to home before my daughter had an accident. She was fine with this. “We’ll just have to come back another day,” she said. What a calm, peaceful, fun day. This is the best kind–the ones that go at the kids’ pace. I even got dishes done!
There are days after which I feel exhausted but feel like I didn’t do anything. Today is one of those days, and they usually involve the repeated tasks of keeping a house running: groceries, laundry, dishes, etc. Today focused heavily on groceries with some dishes and a bit of cooking interspersed.
Intermingled in all of this, my son walked a lot. He strolled through the store, his sister’s preschool, the sidewalk in front of the house, and all around the living room and dining room. In this day, my daughter continued to improve her agility on a suspension bridge of rope and wood planks leading to a slide. I even got in some exercise climbing the other side of the playground equipment to meet her at the slide. My side looked like the result of a demented, geometry obsessed spider. I got a workout.
I made and grilled burgers, baked some bread, and put dishes away.
I did a lot, I hope I modeled lots of good stuff, and I feel like all of it is there to be done tomorrow and the next day. I guess that is what I modeled today. Even if something has to be done again and again, it still has to get done.