Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day to Play

Before I begin I would like to thank all of those who have ever served, or who are currently serving in the military. I will never comprehend the full cost of my freedom, and the sacrifices they, along with their families, have made so that I can enjoy a day like I did today. So, thank you, and I hope you know that you are appreciated more than just this one day of the year.

Sometimes it pays for your mom to be a teacher - especially if she is a teacher at a small school. I knew yesterday that Abby was getting a little stir-crazy, that happens on a typical weekend, but I suspected that with the extended weekend it would be worse. So, yesterday I promised her that today we would go to a park to play. Now, I had a suspicion that the parks around us would be packed on Memorial Day, and I didn't really feel like chasing Abby out of other people's picnics, so I decided that I would take her out to the school where I teach. There we would have that nice big playground to ourselves. Before she fell asleep she made sure to review the morning's schedule: wake up, eat breakfast, go play. I agreed, hoping that we wouldn't be there at seven in the morning.

We woke up this morning and I somehow was able to con Jason in to letting me go back to bed for a few hours, after all, it was 6 a.m. and a girl should get one sleep-in day during a weekend, right? By the time I got up, Abby'd had breakfast and was ready to go. I put her off for a bit, but around 9:30 we were ready. I thought it might be a good idea to bring Bruiser with us, because heaven knows he needed to get out of the house and blow off some steam too. Abby asked about bringing Nan, but I was able to convince her that Nan would not have fun.

I double checked that we had sunscreen and other necessities and we were off - once I got everyone where they should be, that is. Bruiser was so excited (and I think afraid we were going to go without him) that when I opened the passenger door to put our stuff in the car, he took his opportunity and jumped in. As soon as I stared yelling, he realized his mistake, but he wasn't coming out the way he came in. The big lug moved from the front of the car to the back of the car - over the front seats. I finally got him in the back, and once Abby and I were buckled in, we were off.

When we got to school, and I opened the car doors, those two left me in the dust. Abby ran right to the swings, and Bruiser took off after the family of bunnies who were enjoying a sunny day on the playground. We had a great time, and I discovered that not only had Abby grown and developed mentally over this school year, but she also had physically. All those afternoons at recess have made her wonderfully strong and agile. At first I nervously hovered as she climbed up the rungs and rails that were spread throughout the play structure, but once I actually watched her, I realized that she knew exactly what she was doing - and that she knew her limits. As soon as she got to a height that she didn't feel comfortable with, she slowly lowered herself back to the wood-chips. She had even picked up the trick of pumping her legs as she went back and forth on the swings, and she had stopping down to an art. The kid knew her way around a playground, and it was great to see.

This just makes me laugh!
She looks miserable.
Before long, and actually much sooner than I thought, she wanted to go sit down in the cool shade. She started fanning herself and told me it was "too hot". Here's were another bonus of being at "my" school came in - I had keys to the building. All three of us trotted over to the front doors and went in to find something that would cool us off. I knew exactly where to go for some cups and cold water, but then I remembered the super secret stash of popsicles. I got poor Bruiser some water and Abby a yummy popsicle, and then we headed back out to play.

We played for a bit longer, but it just was too hot and humid. I looked over at her, sitting on the bench, and gleefully realized the kid was whipped! On the way home I stopped to get Abby an ice cream cone. The whole way there she tried to tell me that Bruiser needed one too, but Mom wasn't buying it - poor Bruiser. I tell you, I was never so grateful for air conditioning as when that blast of cool air hit me the moment I opened our front door.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing, resting, and relaxing inside. Today was one of those days that makes me long for summer even more than I had been, but with two weeks left of school it is right around the corner. I look forward to more days like today, when we can get out and have some fun. The play and the sunshine is good for both of us - that, and it's the perfect excuse for an ice cream cone.

This must be her climbing face - so fierce!

And she's off!

Yeah for twirly slides!

I caught her in a moment of reflection.
Abby wanted me to get a picture of Bruiser.
The poor guy was so hot!


"Can we go now?"

I scream. You scream. Abby screams for

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