Being thankful for...so many things aren't we? What would we do without afternoon naps, The Backyardigans, or our neighborhood playground? Oh the playground!
As a child of two working parents, the public playground was the one place my Dad took us to on Sunday mornings, his one day off. He taught us how to hang from monkey bars and do chin ups on the metal balance beams. This was also the place where on the weekdays, Mom absorbed us after a long day at work during the summer. I can still picture her on the bench watching us, while my sister and I swung on the swings until our shins hurt. But the best part? Was the sound of the twinkling ice cream truck music where she'd treat us to green Ninja Turtle ice cream bars (with bubble gum eyes of course).
My daughter was about nine months old when we first took her to our neighborhood playground. It is one of my most favorite and vivid memories of her, seeing her traipse across the pebbles crackling under her shoes, and watching her expression (making "o's" with her lips) as she'd peek above a climbing wall.
She is now 4 years old, and has a younger brother to tag along -- to show off her old (and new) tricks, and laugh out loud with as they topple over one another at the bottom of the spiral slides. Playgrounds have an exceptional value in our lives for the simple fact that its the one place that allows our kids to run, climb and challenge themselves each and every time, freely. Whether it's the whole family on a weekend jaunt, or alone time with Daddy after work before the sun sets, the playground is a consistent source of exercising good fun. It engages all of us, including the open possibilities of "making new friends."
We are lucky to have one so close by in our neighborhood, to call our "own." But we also enjoy visiting the one adjacent to the splash park or our local library, and almost always stop at new ones the kids spot from the backseat while we run errands.
The playgrounds' colorful twists and turns invite us in, and it is what we do here that makes our time together, very exciting. And for that, we are very thankful.
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