Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Playground Moments of the Heart

Last week the kids and I explored a new playground close to our home. Everything is new and sparkly and includes ropes course elements. The largest one was quite challenging so of course PJ bee-lined right for it. He conquered it like a pro, showing again his excellent balance and timing and showing off his instinctive feel for how to use the rope and his weight to be successful.

On his first attempt he managed one full loop on this course. Check this out: 

He even managed the balance ropes on his first try.

Awesome, right? I was one very proud momma, especially when he popped off the course and lit up with his thrilled, proud smile.

Naturally, what Big Brother can do, so can our little Bean. It took her a little while to warm up (like two minutes) and then she also started attacking a smaller rope ladder somewhat more her size.

This part led up to a short, metal slide. She needed a little bit of help at the start but by the third time she was racing up with confidence.

All was well. Between the sandbox and the swings and the ropes elements, the kids were happy and challenged. I was even able to exchange a few sentences with another mom friend.

Then it happened: both kids were climbing on the netting towards the slide (pictured above). Little Bean got to the top and then stood up between the netting and the slide a little too quickly. Suddenly, and silently, she was toppling backwards. Someone else at the playground let out a little screech and I was racing towards my falling baby.

Then suddenly she wasn't falling anymore.

In that awful moment, PJ leaned his body against the ropes and grasped her arm, yanking her towards him. Both of them draped over the ropes in precarious safety. Bean stared into her Big Brother's face; PJ yelled, "I have her!"

I was already there. I thanked PJ for being quick and helping his sister while I gathered Little Bean into my arms and comforted her past her fear. No injury, just fear. Because of her brother. Her Big Brother.

Faster than my heart could return to its normal resting pace, it was all over. Bean demanded "down!" and off they ran together. Watching them climbing again, my heart flipped only every other minute. 

The rest of the afternoon remained uneventful. The kids climbed and played and fought and tripped and were kids. 

I couldn't help but reflect on that moment. Now, a week later, I know I will carry that moment with me forever. The first time I ever saw my little ones reach out to each other for safety and security, knowing it was already there in each other.


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