Sunday, July 3, 2011

Riverdale Park

I've been waiting for just the right time to take the kids to this one. Being down by the river, I was a little worried about the bugs. Friday evening turned out to be the perfect time! It cooled off considerably from the time we were at Veterans' Memorial Park in the morning and there was a good breeze that I figured would keep the bugs away.

I have fond memories of this park. It isn't far from the house where I grew up, so it was where we would get on the bike trails when I was little. We used to walk there from Horace Mann for special events. In fifth grade, we had Field Day there. Honestly, though, the playground at this park was nothing too special. Luckily, especially when you're a kid, it's the little things that count.

What kinds of "little" things, you ask? Well, this sand that Leah and Bo were pretty sure came from the desert, for one thing. This is where lots of league sand volleyball games take place, so it is the super soft sand.

These swings that I thought looked pretty ghetto, but they thought were really neat because they were different than any of the others we've seen so far. That is, until they actually tried to sit on them and swing. Then they realized they weren't the most comfortable ride.

Fletcher was so funny at the top of the tube slide. He'd go to the top and say, "I'm coming down, Mom!" So, I'd stand at the bottom and call up, "I'm waiting for you down here!" I'm not kidding, it was probably ten times that we did this, and he never did come down. He would just say, "I'm going on the baby slide instead."

Then he wanted to take Grier on the baby slide. Luckily, Leah was close by. He was ready to just send the baby on her way! Whee!

Unfortunately, it was not so funny as we were leaving the park. He found this little hill that he would stand at the top of and then roll or run down (this is where he was when the sign picture was being taken). Well, I got everybody strapped in the van, all the while calling to him, "Come on, Fletch! We're headed to the station to go see Daddy!" He wasn't listening. His little hill happened to be right by the driveway to the park entrance/exit, so I figured I'd just pull over there and grab him. Oh my gosh! I have never felt so terrible in my life! If my Fletcher-boy ends up in therapy someday, this event will be the cause of it. The poor guy came unglued. He was screaming, "Wait! Don't leave me! Mom! Wait!" I didn't even finish the drive to him. I just pulled over and ran to my sobbing baby. If he was a little older and I'd been trying to teach him a lesson about listening or following directions or something, I wouldn't feel bad at all. But he's two and truly thought I was abandoning him. Seriously, he is getting close to three (the age I have my first memories from) and something this emotionally charged could end up being his first memory! Hopefully, he'll also remember that I didn't, in fact, leave him. Even last night, Grandma Rita was pushing him on the swings at the Inwood Park when he saw Bill pull around the block in the van. He panicked and kept asking Rita where his car was. She finally had to bring him to me so he could see that he hadn't been ditched.

Along with Fletcher's absence from the sign picture, you may notice that one of my daughters is missing. She begged me not to write that she was pouting, but I told her I still probably would. This is supposed to be a record of our adventure and crabby kids have occasionally been a part of it. Someday when I print this off and we look back over it, I want us to know why Leah wasn't in the Riverdale picture. She was mad because Bo got to hold Grier. "He always gets to hold her." Well, my dear, I think the photographic evidence in this case will prove otherwise.

I've kind of lost count on our checklist of parks, but I think we're down to only 50-some left to go. Despite a few bumps in the road, a beautiful evening at Riverdale Park was still a great way to end our day!

Just didn't want anybody to forget how cute Baby G is. Plus, I included a picture of Baby Leah in the same dress, six years ago! This one is especially for those of you who say that I just have four copies of the same kid because they all look so much alike. I disagree!

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