It doesn’t require much more than a seventy-degree day in February to convince me to take the day off work and spend time with my daughter, ZB. (Only in Colorado! As they say: “Don’t like the weather? Wait a little while.”)
What a life…discovering the world at nearly 2 years old. Everything is cool and worth pausing for – if only for a second. It really puts life into perspective – and makes me question some of my priorities.
Our first stop of the day is a playground at a neighborhood park. The new nature play playgrounds offer way better adventures than the playgrounds when I was little. (Except for the gigantic rainbow-colored rocket ships! Those were pretty amazing….) The nature play playgrounds are specifically designed to blend natural materials and environmental objects. I love that my daughter can experience nature-based obstacles in an urban setting.
ZB quickly finds some new friends. Watching children interact with one another is always entertaining. You have a little window into unbridled tiny-human social behavior. Pretty much anarchy! 🙂
After saying good-bye to the playground friends (or, rather, mother sprinting after toddler sprinting toward the street!), we head home. However, winter’s cabin fever – and the sun’s warmth – beckon us outside once again.
The pinwheels scattered about our yard first catch ZB’s attention. The wind makes them dance, yet she still wants to blow on them not comprehending that a manufactured breeze is not required.
Zoom. Onto the next adventure. Check out the small ice-skating rink in the backyard (aka frozen puddle)! Tentatively, ZB steps onto the ice. I warn her that ice can be dangerous if you fall. Unsurprisingly that doesn’t stop her. A grin crosses her face as she shuffles back and forth. Even after a tumble, my reckless little one wants another go around.
Whizz. How about checking up on the honeybees?! After a gentle reminder that bees sting, ZB quietly sits down in front of the hive to watch as they regroup for the next inevitable stint of cold weather. Judging from her captivation, ZB will undoubtedly want to be an entomologist (bug scientist) like her father dreamed of being when he was little.
Zip. Oh yeah, the veggie garden – that’s always fun! Quickly navigating the foot-tall planter, ZB bounces into the winter-barren garden plot. She seems a little surprised by the sight but soon locates tomato remnants. Hoping to stay one step ahead of the game, I let ZB know that if she puts anything in her mouth, we’ll have to leave the vegetable garden. She looks over her shoulder at me with a devious smirk. Okay, fine mom – then I’ll come up with another plan for destruction…. Handfuls of dirt soon cover her pants, her sweatshirt, and even her face. I don’t even flinch and instead reminisce about how I too enjoyed playing in the dirt when I was her age. Recognizing she won this battle, ZB slows down and begins examining the microscopic contents of the soil. Okay, maybe she’ll become a pedologist (a soil scientist) instead….
All this activity, and yet whenever there is a distinct noise, ZB’s ears perk up. An airplane overhead. The distant choo choo of the train down the hill. Or the singing of the wind chimes. Each time her awareness kicks in, I try to carefully explain what causes the different vibrations.
I have much gratitude in my heart today for Colorado’s extreme temperature swings and random unseasonal days. The warm weather gifted me time with my child…and a reminder in the importance of mindfulness.