Small One did not want to get up this morning. For once in her short life, she actually wanted to sleep past eight in the morning! Sadly, we had to give my sister in law a ride to a doctor’s appointment, so I had to break a cardinal rule of mine and wake a sleeping child. She protested adamantly, yelling that she did not need to wake up, she did not need the shades pulled up, she needed it to be dark. I finally cajoled her out of bed by agreeing to let her wear the dress she wants to wear every day- the red one with the Scottie dog and poufy skirt and all the crinolines. Oh yeah, and red rhinestones. Appropriately attired, we headed out.
Because the appointment was going to be lengthy, we decided it was best for me to take Small One elsewhere, and after driving around for a bit, I decided on a playground. Despite her reluctance to be out and about, she was rather delightful at the park, giggling and posing for pictures, enthusiastically climbing, sliding, and jumping, howling with laughter when I grabbed her legs while I pushed her on the swing. It was really a treat for me- lately, the older ones have been an exhausting combination of angst plus need, and I had fun playing with someone who had no agenda or ax to grind.
At one point, though, she announced that she was running away. I said, “Really? You’re running away from me?”
”Yeah!” she announced, but then paused, mid-run. “But you still need to hold my hand.”
I laughed. Really, isn’t that the essence of parenthood?