We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness. David Orr from "Earth in Mind"
Jul 4, 2007
day 47 Eat Your Breakfast or Play On It
Yesterday the heat got too much for me so I loaded Alder in the car and we headed to the ritzy mall across town. No we weren't going shopping. We were going to spend the afternoon in the air conditioning in their breakfast themed playground. To be honest it was a great time.
This is one of those indoor playgrounds that is made out of soft sculptures on a theme. They are great for crowds of kids since if you bump into something you just sort of bounce off of it. I don't know if I would have ever thought of Breakfast Food as a theme but it actually is pretty fun for the kids (think bacon slides and sausage links balance beam).
For Alder this place is heaven because it is set up that even a crawler can get everywhere (except on top of the banana). Since everything is accessible to him without my help I really let him do his own thing. I sit where I can see him and visit him here and there for fun but mainly I let him get caught up in the fray of excitement.
I have mentioned before here my thoughts about playground kids and was happy that the same was true here even though none of these kids were "regulars". Alder was definitely the youngest kid out there on his own and the other kids kept coming up to him to say hi or play with him briefly in the middle of their games of tag (?).
He is an extroverted child, looking to make friends with the other children even though he can't speak or keep up with them. If there happened to be a child pausing for a moment in crawling distance he would go over to them and give them a big smile and then pet them like he pets the cat. The girls especially loved this which made the little flirt very happy. But he has confidence to, when the bigger kids would suddenly bounce off he wouldn't be disappointed he would just go off and do the next thing that came to him.
At one point he found two older boys who were dropping themselves off of a ledge over and over again. He went over to where they were and they let him join in their play for a long time. I was a little nervous that they were going to help him up on to the ledge but they never did. Instead they would carefully drop themselves over him giving him big smiles and silly faces.
I got a few looks from other parents since I wasn't right on top of him all the time. And there were quite a few children his age or older who were herded by their parents constantly from one object to another without much exploring time. Of course when these kids left there were often tears. Since we had come with over two hours to play we left when Alder came over to me and made it obvious. He was content to be back in his stroller with his bottle of juice when we left the playground.
I don't think we'll become regulars but we will probably end up there every week or two if this ridiculous heat keeps up.