I used to bar hop, now I playground hop.
Since becoming a parent I’ve found myself scoping out the playground scene. I’m always on the hunt for a new playground to explore with my toddler.
As an educator, I’m aware of the fact that not all playgrounds are made equally. There are things to look for as it relates to playgrounds that are more appropriate for children under five years old. One must be mindful of the spacing between equipment, height of certain beloved structures as smaller hands and feet may easily fall through.
My toddler happens to be obsessed with soccer, therefore I’m always looking for playgrounds that may also have flat and grassy land nearby that will allow Harper to run freely with his soccer ball after he’s done enjoying the playground. Here’s what I’ve learned during my playground adventures:
We are our best selves.
As you are well aware our county is extremely divided right now. There’s so much happening, tons of vitriol and anger is spewed everywhere as it relates to hot button topics like gun violence, abortion rights, voter suppression, war, healthcare and climate change.
However, when it comes to the playground world: we are our best selves! All those controversies fall to the wayside as parents and caregivers watch their children simply play. We collectively remind our little ones to wait their turn and be mindful of the other little bodies running, laughing and jumping around them.
As adults we model this behavior with respect and a knowing smile as we ask about our children’s ages, express our glee for the warm weather and share small tips and tricks with ease.
We are our best selves.
I like these moments: I love when Harper has opportunities to be around other children and for myself, I enjoy the ability to just be. There’s no weighty discussion in any of the controversies I listed above.
I would argue the playground, like the toilet, is the great equalizer. No matter the parents’ gender, sexual orientation, immigration and socioeconomic status at that point on that playground we’re just parents.
What are your thoughts dear reader? Are there other spaces within our society that brings us all to the same equal footing? I’d love to read your thoughts. Blessing.
2 thoughts on “We Are Our Best Selves”
I much like yourself, always seem to find myself engaging in similar behavior. I’m always on the hunt for playgrounds or even open fields. When it comes to playgrounds in particular, I’m well aware of one’s not suited for very small children. Usually, I’ll stray away from these monstrous playgrounds, however, I do physically engage with my toddler to make sure he’s safe. We tackle slides together and I serve as his height advantage on pretty much everything else. There is a great joy in seeing his smile along with the smile of other kids and parents. The playground is truly a place where differences are placed aside and the glee of what life is all about is found.
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I agree! It’s always a pleasure to watch my child and other children just being free and enjoying their life (as it should be for all children).