Some of the things children do at parks make my heart leap--- not with joy, but with adrenaline. It's probably because two decades have elapsed since I've tuned in to watch fearless kids swing and climb on the high bars. Now that Kenz has discovered the thrill in ascending these plastic and metallic structures, I am practicing the skill of refraining from saying, "be careful," several times a minute.
At the park yesterday, I watched as a six-year old climbed to the top of a slide, then reached an arm high above her head to try and touch a canvas covering that was at least a foot above the structure. My reaction to the sight was--- a gasp. No one else, not even the nearby adults seemed to be shocked by the scene. If the little girl had been barefoot or wearing gym shoes, I might have been one of the casual onlookers,(not really) but the teetering child was wearing pink cowboy boots, the hard bottom ones with shiny soles as slick as roller skates.
She got down unharmed and thankfully her feat went unnoticed by Kenz, although I'm not convinced it's something my granddaughter might not try on her own one of these days.
After only a few hours of park play, Kenz learns new tricks, as she calls them, ones she is not only proud of, but genuinely enjoys doing. Going upside down and hyper extending her back brings a big smile to her face.
This kind of climbing, reaching, testing the strength of your arms and the courage of your Nana is--- crucial. I have resolved that this new year will include as many outings to the park as I can squeeze in. Although I will be gritting my teeth, I have to trust that Kenz can trust her limbs and her brain when reaching across the bars far above the ground.
It'll be a long time till I join the bench moms who are busy flipping through Style or People while their children skip across the sky, but I'm getting a little better at letting go and letting Kenz--- go for it.