Rather than walk the neighborhood or find a park trail I decided to give the playground a try. One benefit of homeschooling while most kids have returned to school is that on weekdays the park is like a ghost town. The mom in me a year ago would have preferred to find a park with lots of kids for my daughter to interact with and socialize. These days with the pandemic we seek playgrounds that are devoid of all other people.
The sunshine itself kills the virus pretty quickly and being outside in the midwest wind to begin with does a pretty good job of making me feel comfortable at the playground if no one else is there. And today was the perfect combination of beautiful sunny day and open playground to run and be silly. (I will admit the other benefit of not having kids her age to play with there means I have an excuse to play on the slides and equipment too!)
It still is hard to watch how my little one struggles with these new situations. She doesn't remember playing at the park a year ago, mostly because she was about four months old and in a stroller while we followed her sister around. She is a fairly cautious baby anyway so it takes her a bit to warm up. Today she was really getting the hang of climbing up and going down the slide by herself, after her sister went first of course.
It did my heart good to see them playing together. It did my soul good to be out in the sunshine and wind, playing and being silly. It did my mind good to know this opportunity hadn't been missed and these memories will be enjoyed.
Even as we loaded into the car and I sanitized their sweet little hands (something I never would have bothered with a year ago) I could dispel my worries. I was using every precaution. And the joys and benefits were worth the minute risk.
I'm grateful to get outside today. I'm grateful to get to play with my girls. I'm grateful to watch as my oldest blossoms as a big sister, teaching the baby how to be brave and try new things. I'm grateful for these moments. I'm grateful for sunshine on my face and wind in my hair. I'm grateful for time to be silly. I'm grateful to let go of all the craziness going on right now and just be there having fun. (I'm also beyond grateful that we were able to walk away when the timer went off with no meltdowns!)
How are you getting fresh air these days? What risks are worth it for your sanity? How are you connecting with the moment and practicing being present?
May the sunshine feed our soul. May we find opportunities to step away from the weight of the world. And may we take every opportunity to play. Have a beautiful day!