Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our sandy park

There have been some things about moving to Waco that have had me very weirdly unnerved. As in, they're not serious things, but in the scheme of every day life, they hold a certain amount of importance to me. I didn't realize one of them until today, when I tried to makeup to the boys for all that closet cleaning I did yesterday with a day full of all fun and absolutely no cleaning. Today held promises of not only a trip to the museum in the afternoon, but a new park in the morning. My kids love nothing more than the promise of a new park.

We've tried a few, but honestly I've tried to avoid park-hunting and leave that to Cody on the weekends. There is one park that we can walk to, but it's not very big or interesting, and it didn't take the kids long to realize that if we were walking to the park, it was going to be that one lame playground and would immediately suggest alternate ideas (like, "how 'bout a new park...?") So today, I took a risk, and we hunted down a park that a stranger-turned-friend recommended to me when she found out I wanted a park with sand. So we went, and there was sand, and some things started to come into focus.

I've been a little depressed about not having a park that we claimed as "our park." You know, the park that the kids assume you're going to when you say, "Hey, let's go the park!" If you have toddlers and you don't have a park, find one. It's best if it has sand. All the parks in Germany had sand, and if any of you followed me on Instagram, you saw that we spent a lot of time at the park. It was such a huge part of our existence, and although taking my kids to a playground has never been one of my favorite activities, my life felt off-kilter without that routine. I hadn't expected it to be difficult to find a park that felt right to us, but I felt relaxed and happy to be at the one we visited today. And I could tell that Seb and Bruno felt that same sudden wave of peace melt over them as they finally got out their little Spielstabil cups and shovels again and got to work. Some other kids brought toys too, so they traded and negotiated and once Bruno came up to me and said, "Mommy, I have some new friends!"It felt so normal, and their play was peaceful and creative and dirty. Seb stood at the bottom of the big slide and reassured a tentative Bruno that he would catch him. Later, I looked up to spot Seb pushing Bruno on the swing, just because. When he was finished, I lifted Bruno out of the swing and made sure he knew that it was because "Basti loves you so very much." I wish you could have seen his smile.

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