This largely unedited free-write is linking up with the Write 31 Days Challenge. // indicates the start and stop of five minutes. The prompt word for today is PARK. Go!
// Church picnics were the best. Endless hours of summer stretching into the cool of the long evenings. Eight o’clock, nine o’clock, ten-thirty, and we were still racing through the playground with other dirty children. Hair messed, faces streaked, and smiles of utter exhaustion a mile wide. So much fun that even the mosquitoes couldn’t make us stop playing tag.
Parents happily chatting together, some in lawn chairs, others on blankets; sometimes playing baseball, sometimes croquet. Grateful to be connecting with friends while kids disappeared for hours on end.
I can smell the burgers grilling. I can feel the corn splashing up my cheek as I struggle to grip the buttery mess. I can taste the ice cream as it drips down my chin.
My best friends were there, now long moved away, but still they play with me in my memories. We would run and climb and hide. Can’t touch the sand or you’re ‘out!’
Boys chasing girls. Girls chasing boys. The eternal game of who’s better at what. But secretly we liked them, and we just wanted them to chase us, so we would tease, and punch, and giggle.
Precious memories that didn’t stop with the changing seasons. The only difference was the presence of snow and ice and a frozen pond instead of sand and swings. I learned to skate here, pushing an old stool around the frozen water. Sore feet, tired legs, but we wouldn’t stop. //
As the years went by and skills increased, so did our courage and our fun. No longer were we trying to stay up, now we were trying to fall down. Crack the whip, round and round, and the lucky ones would fly into unsuspecting snow banks. Sometimes painful, sometimes funny, tears came occasionally. Again, boys against the girls―girls against the boys. Feigning injury only to do it again.
It’s now years later, and my own kids are having their time in the park. Where has the time gone?
And I wonder… have I taken them often enough to the place where memories are made? Do their memories scroll as vividly as mine?
Friends still call to me from the park.
Or have I been too busy to play?
To read more of 31 Days of Mom Awesomeness, click here.
For more information on the Write 31 Days challenge, check out Christina Hubbard’s site!