Despite all the progress I've been making with the house, holiday planning, NaNoWriMo prep, sewing, and school, I've been feeling . . . down. I couldn't put my finger on it. Then, I realized that while we've been on the road a lot the last few weeks, we haven't been going to many homeschool group activities or playdates. There's a balance between always being on the road or at activities and staying home to get things done that's so difficult to find sometimes. Lately, I've been leaning more toward keeping things simple and staying home. But that can leave us feeling isolated. So today, despite feeling tired and with rain looming on the horizon, we headed out to the park to see the brand new play structure that opened yesterday.
I can't believe how much better I feel now. Here are some of the highlights that make our park playdates so special:
- The girls found their people. Kids to run around with and be themselves with. Ella likes to tell me after playdates sometimes, "Mom, I fit. I didn't fit at school. This is fun."
- I talked with some of the moms while the kids played nearby. We talked kids and school and weather and life and it was very, very good.
- We were serenaded by one of the little boys playing Beethoven's 9th on the set of chimes built into the playset. Seriously, when else are you going to randomly hear that at the park?
- Sun showers. The kids played blissfully in the rain with their friends until it began to rain harder and they all huddle together under the playset and made up stories.
- After the rain, we looked over to where the kids had been hiding from the rain drops and found them in a circle around one of the girls (about Ella's age) reading to the group from a Star Wars chapter book.
- When it was time to leave to meet Daddy for lunch, the girls didn't throw a fit because they had to leave these people. They know we'll come back next week. And every week after that. This kind of fitting in isn't just a rare, isolated occurrence anymore.
- I buckled the girls in the car, and Harper looked out the window toward the park we just left. She had a confused look on her face and asked, "Where are our brothers?" Apparently, the little boys made quite an impression on her. Still, she took the news that we weren't bringing them home with us fairly well.
The kids are happy.