89 Days of Greatness: Day #24

June 16, 2014

Day #24 of 89 Days of Greatness.  It’s not just a picnic.  It’s not just a playground.  It’s Picnic At The Playground.  OK.  I’ve taken the kids to the playground before.  Often.  And I’ve taken the kids on picnics before.  Not so often.  But this is the first time in, say, a presidential election cycle, that I’ve gotten my act together enough — wait for it — to do both at the same time.  This is such an unusual experience for them that I half expected them to dance the fool in the proverbial end zone, but instead they played it cool and acted like they’d been in that end zone before.  Well-played, kids, well-played.

All three had been at academics-focused morning camps today, and surprising them with this greatness not only made them smile big but also me!

We had found a picnic table and started chowin’ down for approximately 0.883 seconds when the littles asked me if they could go play with the brother-sister duo already playing on the playground.  “Sure!  When you’re finished eating your lunch …”

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A pack of ravenous hippos would not have consumed that food faster than Team Robison did, after which they sprinted immediately to the merry-go-round, which is where I would go, uh, nev-er, right after eating.  But there they went, the five newly-formed best friends combining their skills on the Whirling Dervish Disk of Dyspepsia.

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I went over and sat with the other kids’ mama, realizing as I sat next to her that the reason her kids looked vaguely familiar was because she did, too.  (We remembered that our paths had crossed briefly at church a couple of years ago; they’re now at a different church and so we don’t ever see them.)

We talked and the littles played as if they’d been best friends from birth, and we said aloud how nice it was for children to have summertime really be summertime.  To get to play at the park.  To make new friends that you might or might not ever see again.  To invent games and fanciful stories in the name of Playground Adventures.  To go with a purpose and a general plan but not necessarily an overly structured schedule.  To feel the cooling breeze in the midst of the sweltering heat just long enough to make it okay to stay a few more minutes at the park with new friends.  To laugh and play and grow.

That just shouts summer, and that is absolute greatness.  (I might even learn from it and end up getting my act together more often for this Picnic At The Playground thing.  Maybe.)

We ended up back home, and before they could start on their chores, they were involved in various games, one of which was Mariana setting up ‘Mariana’s Cafe’ upstairs.

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It was a fairly high-end cafe, complete with (1) cups of water (2) bowls of ice (3) a lemon-flavored sore throat lozenge.  I instantly felt great compassion for all vegans.

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Next thing I knew, I looked up, and Mariana had used our face paints on Blake because “he wanted to be a tiger-cheetah.”  They must have felt ambitious and energized after that big ‘meal’ at Mariana’s Cafe.

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We are just about to embark on what might edge out the Picnic Lunch At The Playground for today’s greatness activity:  cleaning out the kids’ cabinets in the back hall.  They are so disheveled that they make the aftermath of a tornado in a trailer park look like child’s play.  When they are actually cleaned out and organized I just might do the Greatness Happy Dance

Pretty sure the littles won’t.  As they say, though, there’s no accounting for taste.

Godspeed.

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