Monday, June 14, 2010

Going UP

A few weeks ago I was sitting on the playground with my children. I was visiting with another Mama who was watching her littles play, and the atmosphere was chill. I love those days. No worries. Nowhere to be. No one crying or needy but coming by often enough to get kisses and nods of approval at the bouquet of weeks freshly picked. Heaven, I tell you.

The other Mama watched my boys race each other UP the slide and turned to me and asked a question I'd never considered before. "Do you allow your boys to climb up the slide?" Well, yes. Why wouldn't I? Why do I care which direction they go on the slide? If it's more fun going up, I say go for it. Play on, brothers. Play on.

Her question makes sense in hindsight. Last week my big boys were in VBS, but since there was no program for littles under 3, I had the two babies all week. My Aaron needs a routine and was bothered by leaving the two big brothers every morning, so we developed a new routine--drop the big boys off and head for Chick-fil-A where we ate breakfast together, then played on the playground and fed the birds our leftover biscuits. Every single morning I saw other kids rush out the glass door to the play enclosure and head straight for the slide--going up. Do you know that Mama after Mama insisted that those kids climb the stairs and go down the slide like civilized little playground users?

I think the other Mamas were trying for something very noble--respect. If you're going up the slide, those who are trying to come down can't reach the bottom. The thing is, my Aaron got off the slide anytime someone else was trying to come down. Being aware of others--now that's respectful.

I loudly praised him when he made it particularly far up the twisty slide. I'm sure the other Mamas glared. But the Mama at playgroup and I get it. Chill. Create your own sense of chill. Play on.

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