Over the weekend Mad Dog and I took the boys to a big, shady park. The weather is finally starting to be less oppressively humid and outings to parks will be back on our regular agenda. For Full Speed and T.Puzzle this is a beautiful thing.
It has been a few months since they have been at a park. They have grown and matured even if I can’t see it fully in our day to day life. They actually were able to run the park without me having to follow them. Full Speed had already achieved this status a while ago, but this was the first time we were able to let them both run free. T.Puzzle was able to physically master all the twists and turns of the convoluted park equipment. His every movement was no longer precarious and panic-inducing. He also has a better handle on his emotions so the chance of him physically lashing out at a fellow playground patron has also decreased substantially. Of course Mad Dog and I didn’t take our eyes off of either of them. We found a bench under a gorgeous live oak tree and sat back, watched the boys play and had an actual conversation.
I didn’t know this was possible in a park setting. I have spent the past years chasing, climbing and begging my boys to behave. Playdates at the park have consisted of me running around like a crazy person and occasionally lobbing a thought at the Mom who met us there. We never engaged in a full-length conversation. The safety of my boys and my constant supervision of them to stop attacks on other kids prevented this.
So, to sit back and watch them have fun and actually feel relaxed was extraordinary. I guess this is an example of the little bits of freedom parents gradually gain back as their children grow and mature.