Posted by: Ingrid | October 27, 2010

Life on the Playground

Sometimes I feel like I’m not really cut out for this whole mom thing.  It’s not so much the day in and day out taking care of things that consumed me the first 6 months or so.  Not that I enjoy functioning on little sleep but I can do it if forced.  I can feed a baby and put him down for naps and do age appropriate baby things in between.  I can change diapers and monitor tummy time.

But I am not dealing with a baby anymore.  Isaac feels more toddler-ish as the days go by.  While I love the changes and growth I also miss the days when things were simpler.  Sometimes I get a pre-view of things to come, and I can’t say I always look forward to them.

For example, the other day we were hanging out at the playground.   We are at the stage where fun at the playground means either eating wood chips or trying to climb the wrong way up the smallest slide.  Oh, and putting the wood chips on the slide – that’s also a big hit.  Isaac can do that for hours.  No exaggeration.  Of course I’m there with him, but it also gives me a chance to observe all the other activity happening around us.

That day there were a few boys running around and a heavy set girl who kept trying to use the monkey bars.  You could tell she wanted so badly to get across.  She would grab the first bar, push off, and just hang until she dropped to the ground.  Her older (and also heavier) relative sitting on the bench assured her that it was a hundred times harder for girls to do that than boys.  Boys would come up to the bars, dodge around her, grab the bars, and with a few deft movements of their arms and swings of their wirey hips, they were across.

I don’t know how long she stood there, trying again and again with limited success.  At one point, when she made it across two bars I actually cheered for her because she’d made progress.  Eventually she went away, monkey bars still unconquered, and I grabbed hold and went across just to be sure I still could.

But it made me think, as I watched the remaining boys running around, calling each other names, sometimes playing nicely and sometimes being just mean, that I really feel out of place on the playground.  It’s hard to think about my little boy growing up and having other kids hurt him.  It’s hard to think of him hurting other kids.  It’s hard to think about having a daughter some day and all of the potential body-image issues she’ll be bombarded with.  I know that my job as a parent is to help Isaac grow up into a healthy and functioning adult, but some days I’d just rather keep him a safe and swaddled baby.

Life on the playground can be pretty cruel.  I don’t know if I’m ready for it.



  1. Hey sweet heart…the what ifs of life await us all…We have to trust God that He has our best interests at heart and the best interests of our loved ones as well. Isaac will be fine on the play ground as he grows older, he has a sweet nature so I don’t think he will be a bully or hurt other kids. As for the others on the way, Billy Bob and Sue Ellen, Isaac will watch out from them on the playground just like Josh watched out for Clint. Or did Clint watch out for Josh?

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