This week her sister was in camp. I took her to the playground and she played with me for thirty minutes, smiling but reserved. Then she wanted to go. The next day I took her to a splash park where she made it less than ten minutes and didn't want to get wet before asking to leave.
Today I decided to change direction and take her to the library. We collected a bunch of books and played with the kid stuff for nearly an hour. Towards the end she was acting a little silly and wild so I decided to redirect us to a nearby playground where she could get some energy out. But as soon as we got there she got reserved again even though there was hardly anyone there.
Much to my surprise there was a splash pad at this park. I had not prepared for that at all and had no change of clothes or swim suits. Given our experience the other day, I wasn't too worried about it. I figured we could get our toes wet to beat the heat and most likely she would rather swing or just ask to go.
She kept reaching her toes out toward the sprayer but not getting close enough to actually get them wet. I was reaching out with mine to show her how it sprayed them and pretending it was tickling me. She asked me to hold her so I held her up above a short sprayer and swooped her feet through it.
Her little shriek and giggle made my heart swell as her little voice called out "again! again!" It was that connection in play I had been seeking all week. From then on she was all in and I was not about to lose that moment. Thirty minutes later it was time to go and we were both soaked from head to toe and laughing together. If I could bottle a sound, it would be my girls' unrestrained laughter.
I'm grateful for these beautiful moments of giggles and glee. I'm grateful for the quiet, reserved moments too. I'm grateful to have such great kids that I love with every ounce of my being. I'm grateful for a surprise splash pad. I'm grateful for an empty park on a hot day. I'm grateful to have some time with my little one, just the two of us. I'm grateful to not hold back and just run and laugh and play. I'm grateful my oldest did so well at camp all week and enjoyed her social time too.
When do you just let go and be silly? Do you like someone to let loose with you or prefer to be silly alone?
May we remember to make time to play. May we cherish these moments of finding giggles and glee. Have a beautiful day!