We stopped off at the park yesterday, again, after work and school. It was sunny out, but cold- never reaching the 40s. Still, I thought why not take advantage of it being dry and sunny out?
The park we stopped at is on the way home; it's actually just off the expressway exit I take most days. It's a bit of a run down park, especially compared to the others we frequent, but I love how big it is. And empty. Especially when it's colder out.
This is about the third time we've stopped at this one. The first time was last year some time and I quickly discovered that it wasn't the best park for Lovie. But that was then and this is now. It's been a year and my kid rocks the playground these days. She's not intimidated by much of anything as far as playground equipment is concerned. And since this park has mulch down and not a lot of teenagers (shakes cane up in the air) around, I'm OK with letting her do own thing.
Nevertheless it was pretty kick ass to be witness to her making her way around yesterday. She climbed the metal (and cooooooold) curvy ladder thing up to a bridge with NO problems; she hesitated the first time a little and I did spot her but after that first climb, it was like she had done it forever. She walked up and down the bouncy bridge and sturdy bridge. She slid down every slide there- the one meant for littles like her (in photo), the medium sized one for kids a bit older, and the largest one meant for "big kids". The only thing I had to do was help her get up to the platform of the "big kid" slide because she doesn't have the upper body strength yet to hoist herself up- and the metal was DAMN cold. (You can see in that photo above that her hands are very red- bad mama!- because of how cold it was.)
When I was a kid (older than Lovie as I don't remember jack from when I was her age), I LOVED going to the park... I mean, what kid doesn't, right? Even so I loved it and think back fondly of my childhood park visits. But none of those memories include my mom. She just didn't really do much with me.
I hope that's different for Lovie. I hope I'm always in a place (free from work, physically capable, etc) to take her to the park if she wants....To see her face light up when she exclaims, "Ready? Goooo!" as she slides down the slides.... To watch her explore and climb and just be.