It was 86 and HOT today (and I’m most definitely not complaining as it is SUMMER) so what better thing to do than to go to where you can see the heat rising from the ground, where your kids tushes get burned on plastic, where there is absolutely no shade to speak of and where the ice cream truck comes purposely and religiously at 5:00 to either ensue a ridiculous tantrum for not getting ice cream or to ruin my kids dinner? Yes, you guessed it, the PLAYGROUND! Or as Hannah calls it, “the playing ground”. It was not my first choice activity this afternoon but Hannah wanted to “go somewhere” since her brand new big girl booster seat had been installed in the car and it was the only place I could think of going that was close to home and free. Plus with Luke’s new walking thing, it’s nice that he’s able to be part of the action.
Within minutes of arriving there Hannah came running over and said, “bye bye mommy, I’m going to make some new friends!” and was off. My little social butterfly. She literally ran up to a girl and said, “hi, I’m Hannah, want to be my friend?” and they just started chasing each other. This other girl (who turns out was 6.5 years old and named Claire) was also at the playground with a “gang” of other girls. And I don’t use the word “gang” loosely… they were a pack of bigger (7ish year old) girls shooting dirty looks at all onlookers and who were very selective about who could play with them. I was not pleased with Hannah’s selection of “new friends”. So I watched her. Very. Carefully. I could see that top of mind for her was keeping up with Claire whose main concern was keeping up with the rest of the gang. But it made me think I was going to have to have the “if your friend jumps off of a bridge are you going to do it too?” conversation at a much earlier age than I had anticipated. I didn’t think that at 4 years old I’d be watching her try to “fit in” with a crowd that I didn’t approve of (even if was only a playground crowd) but feel like I should back off and let her “do her thing”. I saw the girls jumping off structures that were not intended to be jumped from, climbing backwards down ladders and running UP the slides that little toddlers were trying desperately to slide down and I could see the wheels turning in Hannah’s head wondering if she had the desire or courage to try these things too… I was relieved to see her stepping back, but my heart pounded alongside hers as she made these decisions. I knew that my arms would be there to catch her today if she did decide to take the leap but my heart and mind are heavy tonight knowing that I can’t and won’t ALWAYS be right there with her.
Wow, I’ve gotten serious here haven’t I? Time to lighten things up. I’m in my family room and am disgusted with the state of affairs here. My list is:
Things that are not as they should be here in my family room
1. There is a laundry basket full of folded clothes that has been there since last Thursday. I just can’t carry it up the stairs and have not remembered to ask Tim to carry it up for me.
2. There is a pair of Luke’s shoes on the TV console
3. There is a garbage bag full of old, worthless toys literally in the middle of the room
4. There is a tennis racquet on the couch
5. There is a fish bath toy on the couch
6. There are two random puzzle pieces on the coffee table
7. There is a half eaten purple crayon under my dogs chin on the couch (that I’m too afraid to try and grab from her)
8. There is a bib on the side table and it’s pink so not even one I use with Luke
9. There is a cabinet knob (to what cabinet? I don’t know.) on the tv console
10. There is some old, random football game on the TV… it’s SUMMER – why is Tim watching a football game???
Anyone want to come help me organize my life? At least as I’ve been typing Tim carried my laundry up the stairs.