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The weather in Pennsylvania is getting warmer. Finally.
In honor of the first really warm, sunny spring day, I decided to take Grace to the park after school one day this week. Joe was driving by the park just as we arrived, and the three of us stayed and played until we were scarcely able to pick up our feet.
My camera just happened to be in the car that day, I took over a hundred pictures in the hour that we played. I wanted to remember everything about that blissful afternoon.
Joe and I have been a little stressed lately (for a number of mostly not-for-the-blog reasons and some health concerns). Playing in the park was just what we needed. Joe and I left the park feeling mentally refreshed and ready to face any challenge.
When we got home, I downloaded all of the pictures I’d taken, and I realized that the three of us learned some lessons in the park.
Gracie can do it.
This was my lesson. I’ve already told you that I’m reluctant to let Grace do things on her own. I need to get over it. She wants to do things by herself, and she’s very capable.
Sometimes, you need a boost.
This was Gracie’s lesson. She wants to do everything herself. No matter how hard she tries, there are some things that she just can’t do alone.
Like hanging from the jungle gym that’s five feet up.
Daddy (doesn’t have to always) get it.
My doting husband waits on me and foot, and I’ve never seen anything wrong with that. I ask, he fetches, and I’m happy – what could possible be awry in this scenario?
You’re probably wishing you were next to me right now so that you could thump me upside the back of my head, right? You can clearly see what’s wrong here, but I never did. Until the afternoon in the park.
Grace found a baseball in the park, and she was playing fetch with herself. The scene was really cute.
She took her baseball up to the top of the slide, and then she threw it. It rolled down the slide and launched off into the mulch, probably fifteen feet away. She grumbled. And then she said a sentence I’ve heard a few times before – Daddy get it!
It was my voice, coming out of Grace’s mouth. My heart sunk, and I saw what’s wrong with his waiting on me. I bristled, and I said, “Gracie get it!”
Joe and I were having a nice conversation on a bench behind the slide. The baseball was off in another direction, and Grace was closest to it. She repeated, “Daddy get it!”
Grace and I went back and forth a few times, just for good measure, until she took matters to a new level, throwing a little fit. She stomped her feet and jumped up and down and yelled “DADDY GET IT!”
I calmly repeated the same thing I’d repeated now at least eight times. “Gracie get it.”
We repeated ourselves again and again until she gave up, slid down the slide, and went to pick up the baseball. I’ll be picking up my own baseballs from now on, too.
Everything is better together.
Grace likes going down the slide by herself, but once she realized that she could race her Daddy down the slide, she wanted to do that again and again.
Sometimes, we all get wrapped up in doing our own thing, but we can always make more time to do our thing together.
She’s still little.
Grace is so big. She’s tall and verbal and wanting to down grown up things like pee on the potty.
It’s easy for Joe and I to lose sight of the fact that she’s not even two years old yet. She’s a baby.
She’s not ready for the the big kid swings, and she’s not ready to go too high on the baby swing, either.
Poor Gracie started to whimper a little on the swing, and we realized that we were pushing it too hard. She was going higher than she was comfortable, and she was scared. We backed off, and she was delighted. So delighted, in fact, that we pushed that swing for almost a half hour.
You have to walk away.
We were worn out. Plain old exhausted, all three of us. But Grace didn’t want to leave the park. She wanted to stay and have more fun.
We hadn’t eaten dinner. Bedtime and bathtime were quickly approaching. We had to walk away from the fun at the park, and Grace didn’t like it one bit.
We’re a team.
At the end of the day, no matter what, we’re a team.
It was good. It was good for Joe and I to play. Playing together with our kiddo cheered both of us. We’re going to have to get out and play more often.
Happily submitted to the PhD in Parenting Carnival of Play
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