Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Play time

Danielle as Tinkerbell at Hyde Park Theatre
Today dark rain clouds teased us here in Austin. 102' and overcast, with a cool breeze and 80% humidity. Surprisingly pleasant for summer in Texas. Even more so because Mary and I took the girls out to one of the Mueller community parks late this afternoon.

As Mary and I watched from a bench, I was struck by the conveyor belt pattern of the girls cavorting on the playscape:  run, run, run to the entrance ramp, traverse shaky bridge, dash across a long catwalk, through a tunnel obstacle, climb up a ladder to the crow's nest, stop to survey the landscape, call for everyone in earshot to "Watch me! Look at me!", then hesitate for a moment at the top of the slide, a few tears, some screaming, "I can't do it!  It's too high!"  Then shoot down the slide, the sound of skin screeching on the hot plastic of the chute, pop off the end, giggle wildly- "That was FUN!!" Then run, run, run back to the ramp to do it all over again.

They never seemed to tire of it.  Until they did, of course. But up to that point, it was a laugh-a-minute.  To Mary and I, it's almost like watching dogs chase their tails. Same pattern, over and over and over again.  But of course, it wasn't the same.

Every trip up the playscape was subtly different.  This time, Niesha has to climb over her sisters.  The next time, Madeleine gets stuck in the tube.  Another time, Danielle tries climbing up the tall slide, falls on her face, and slithers down on her belly, giggling the whole way.

It was the Circle of Life we were watching.

I know, pretty heady stuff for a day at the park.  But even the clouds were playing- huge stormy clouds, a stiff breeze, lighting, and then, just when it looked like we might get rained out... the sun peaked through again.

Every time I step off the work treadmill to really enjoy playing with my kids, I can't believe how much and how fast they've grown.  I can't believe how blessed we are that they are healthy and happy, and have such a good Mommy, and are so loving towards each other.  But they're siblings, and they compete, so round and round they go, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes helping, sometimes racing for the top spot.

Dad raised (or helped raise) three kids, too.  Dad and India met later in life, so the kids were a bit older, but I'll be the same age when Niesha graduates college as Dad was when my sister Lizzy graduated!  My step-brother and sister have grown into fine adults, of whom Dad would be very, very proud.  But between the three of us, he certainly would recognize the running around in circles, the helping, the competition, and the race for the top.  He's been there.  Hopefully, he was giggling all the way, too.

The girls and I send our love, Dad.  Miss you.