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Splash park

May 19, 2012

I’ve come to the conclusion that the “splash park” concept of water play for little kids is one of the most genius innovations to sprout up since my own childhood.  What could be better than letting your toddlers run through massive gushing water, while at the same time resting your brain into a level 5 zone of awareness (potential for danger) as opposed to a level 10 red alert zone of awareness like the ocean or a pool.  We are blessed to live within a five minute drive to a splash park that we discovered last year, much to our everlasting delight.  Well, Florida summer starts early, and it has been open since May 1st, so we have been out twice already with plans to try and be there at some point every weekend.  Everything about the way this park was designed was clearly designed with moms in mind.  Shade covered patches of soft artificial turf (no dirt or scratchy Florida grass), easy open viewing as the kids run around screaming, highly chlorinated water that seems at least slightly less frightening somehow than the neighborhood pool, and a scattering of benches for those parents, like myself, who are unsure of their ability to get back up from a cross-legged seated position once there too long…

Still, I feel slightly like two totally opposite sides of my personality are at battle–the 21st century high-tech mom, and the homesteader at heart.  Part of me resists the total artificial nature of the whole concept, right down to the artificial turf.  After all, isn’t the glorious Fort De Soto beach, with its soft sand and nary a building in site so much more preferable than some man-made abomination.  But, then the high tech mom in me fights back with all the convenience and ease of such an arrangement.  Am I the only one who has momentary second thoughts at this?  Probably.  But I spent most of my childhood in the woods.  And I loved every minute of it.  I worry that my children aren’t exposed to nature enough.  I want them to learn to love the peace and tranquility of God’s creation.

At the end of the day, the nearness and free price tag of the splash park wins out more battles than any other argument.  Even for a local, the beaches are hardly free–whether because of park fees or parking fees.  Plus, packing for a trip to the beach is a monstrous task of its own.  And the pool?  Without my husband, forget it.  One daughter is done after five minutes, and the other wouldn’t be done after five hours.  And neither swims enough to allow me to relax in the slightest.

So despite the concrete, fabricated nature of it, the splash park will remain a fixture in our life for the foreseeable future.

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From → Motherhood

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