First day at the park

Apr 24, 2017


After months of wearing long pants, heavy sweaters over flannel shirts, and clunky shoes, folks are enjoying the chance to leave jackets behind and head to the park. It’s like a spring cleaning for the spirit as everyone goes down a slide, swings, or teeter totters in order to wipe away winter’s cobwebs and staleness.

Because of the recent warm, sunny days, families are migrating in mass to local parks. We didn’t want to be left out so we joined our grandkids and their parents at the Wamego City Park last weekend and were surprised to discover all the parking spaces near the playground were full and little kids were standing in line to zip down the slide or play on the monkey bars. It was more like a busy day at Disneyland than a visit to the hometown playground.

Our two little ones and their cousin gleefully wandered from one brightly painted piece of equipment to the next. In between swings and slides, our granddaughter stopped to scoop up handfuls of tiny pebbles, inspect them, then raise her arms high into the air and let them shower down around her shoulders. I’m not certain, but I suspect t she may have had as much fun doing this as she did lying belly down across a soft vinyl swing and launching herself into the stratosphere.

Our grandson is small enough that he preferred to sit in mommy’s lap during his time on the swing set.  It was fun to watch him observing everything going on around him while his little body adjusted to this unusual back and forth rhythm. When I look at pictures of him, his face gradually changes from serious concentration to a broad four-toothed grin. He liked his day in the park.

As I heard the laughter and giggles coming from every direction on that full playground, it was clear all of these youngsters enjoyed feeling sun rays warming their skin and the sensations of zipping down a toasty but not searing metal slide or the breezes they created as they pumped their little legs in order to swing back and forth . Their parents echoed the joyful sounds their children made.

Not only is fresh air and playground equipment pure-dee fun, it’s also the perfect ingredient for a long nap afterwards. Our little ones barely made back inside our room before their eyelids slammed shut. Tykes  who normally take a one or two hour nap zonked out for twice their normal snooze time.  This gave Grandma a chance to sneak in a little shut-eye herself.

Even though we haven’t had a particularly harsh winter, we’ve missed balmy play days. I’m glad I got to see my grandkids enjoy some of these first moments of spring weather. It made new memories and brought back old ones of when my own kids were tiny.