Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Letting Go Of My Mom Stress On The Toddler Playground

I am a big kid stuck in a mom’s body and while I have not yet given into mom Jeans, I have morphed into a responsible, play date planning, coupon cutting, wearing a million hats mom.  Last night, I sat on the sofa, overwhelmed just thinking about all the things on my plate for the next few days.  Today, I let it all go on the local toddler playground.  I spent the morning away from my Bean and when I got home in the afternoon, the Bean was up from her nap.  The sun had turned our fall day unusually warm and I realized it would be an absolute injustice to stay inside.  As an adult, I love the playground.  I love to swing, I love to walk through the fallen leaves, I love the all too short joy of the sliding board descent.  Still, until I became a parent, it was only on the most indulgent of afternoons that I would find myself pumping my legs on the swings.  Now with a rambunctious toddler at my feet these trips to the playground are almost a decadent daily necessity.  Today, there was no play date.  It was just the Bean and I.  We pulled into our favorite playground and my eyebrows shot skywards as I realized the warm rays of sun had brought children from every corner of my town to this favorite local.  I thought about leaving and then I spotted the “old” playground in the distance.  It was not fancy but it was also empty and just called out to me.  We pulled up and I stuck my phone and keys in my pocket and we headed for the toddler playground.  I snapped pictures as the Bean ran through the leaves and in and out of the sliding boards and then I when I had pulled my phone out for the billionth time for a joint sliding board venture,  I realized it was time to put the phone away.  Sure it meant I would not get more pictures and that I would not be Facebooking or twittering our fun to the masses but what it did mean was more than worth it.  With the phone in the car, The Bean and I ran up the stairs and slid down the sliding boards, we waved to the birds overhead and the puppies in the adjacent dog park.  We played drums on the park bench with twigs we had gathered and when I realized the toddler swings were muddy we climbed on a swing together.  We swung entwined with the sun beating down on us and she laid her head on my shoulder silently and I realized that this is what a fall day was supposed to be.  I did not agonize over the many things that would remain on my To-do list for another day, I just swung, and holding my smiling Bean tightly wondering which of us was enjoying the toddler playground more. 

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