the amazing shrinking park


I’m a mama. My heart hurts daily. Several time daily.

I’m a mama. I know that there is good heart-hurt and bad heart-hurt. The first time I felt that good heart-hurt, it really threw me for a loop. Sort of like growing up thinking that all stress is bad and then one day reading about the benefits of eustress. And then realizing that, eu or not, stress is rough.

Heart-hurt is the same.

This weekend, we made our way back out to the parks. We visited four parks in three days. We love our parks. And this is why I never want to erect a swing set or slide or giant, plastic house in my backyard. The park is special and fun and full of opportunities to bump into friends, old and new. I want us to always go to the park.

One of the parks on our circuit this weekend, we haven’t visited since June of last year. Not quite a year.

Our girl bounded into the park, releasing energy she must have had stored up since November. She ran from slide to climbing wall to sandbox, much like a starving person runs to food. As if she had to touch everything for fear it would disappear in a blink.

girl running in the park

As I watched her, I took note of the ladders she climbed and the slides she slid down and I noticed something very startling.

The things in this park… well they had shrunk.

girl on dinosaur

The slide? Last year her feet didn’t nearly reach the bottom as she sat at the top. And that ladder? She needed a boost last year to get to the top and now she just zips right up. Someone must have moved those rungs closer together.

The realization that the park has shrunk. That is good heart-hurt.

slide in the sun


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