“Mom! Can we pleeeeeeaaase go to the park?”
I’m going to be honest and say that my visceral reaction to this question is usually some variation of “UGHHHHHHH!”
The summer heat in Florida rivals the depths of hell. I have to pack snacks and drinks and apply sunscreen to everyone for what i know is only going to be like a 17-minute jaunt. Someone will want me to push them on a swing. There will besand in shoes and sunscreen dripping in eyes. The slide will be too hot. Someone will have to pee where there is no bathroom. The sun will be in their eyes because they refuse to wear the hats you begged them to put on before you left.
The scooter one wanted to ride there will inevitably be held by me on the way back.
And don’t get me started on all of the stuff on my end that will take a back seat. Piles of laundry. Unanswered emails. Writing deadlines. Making beds and wiping down bathroom counters covered in glitter (because girls), grocery shopping, figuring out what the hell I’m going to feed my family for dinner.
But today, when my older daughter asked if we could go to the park, I sat back at my desk where I was mid-writing assignment, looked at her little face and her toddler sister standing behind her and said, “Yup!”
Forget the laundry.
Forget the emails.
Forget the deadlines.
Forget making beds.
Forget the glitter.
Forget the groceries.
At least for an hour. Nothing is going to spontaneously combust by pushing things back a bit.
The minute I said yes she screamed, which led her little sister to mimic her without even knowing why she was screaming. They got their shoes on, squirmed while I put on sunscreen, threw snacks in the bottom of the stroller and we were on our way.
They giggled the whole time. We danced and laughed and played. We watched a mama duck with her ducklings. We ate goldfish and shared with the ducks. I pushed them on swings. Caught them at the bottom of slides.
It was perfect even despite the temperature, relentless humidity and me carrying the scooter home while both kids piled in the stroller and definitely exceeded the maximum weight limit.
The question I sometimes dread most, “mommy, can we go to the park?” ended up being the high point of my day.