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It’s hard for me to believe that Elisabeth is almost a year old.  She changes everyday and every day, I am thrown for a loop by her new different thing.  We saw a toddler- a category that isn’t far off now- with her mama last month headed to the local playground.  I thought that someday we would be there too.  Sure enough, we went last week.  And guess what?  We easily could have gone sooner.

Elisabeth is a little limited at the playground since she can’t walk quite yet.  But I discovered that she does love to swing.  photo-109So we tackled that.  Peaceful, slow motions back and forth.  She was simultaneously stimulated by the motion and content.  We were both momentarily lulled.

I decided that we’d tackle the baby slide next.  Again, no walking so I lifted her up onto the platform and held her as she went photo-113down.  I felt frustrated for her but she wasn’t bothered.  It was just enough. A few more times and we were done.

We watched the other kids run around, yelling and climbing crazily on balance bridges, monkey bars and seesaws.  Then we saw a mom blowing bubbles for her two little girls to catch and pop.  The oddly shaped soapy bubbles were picked up by the wind and lifted high beyond the height of the two little girls who ran around happily on the sand.  The my eye caught a big kid slide.photo-116

It was wide, long, green and deeply scratched from years of heavy use.  All of a sudden, I was a child again and imagined in my mind what it would feel like to climb the heavy stairs to getphoto-114 to it.  If there hadn’t been anyone else around, I might have attempted it with Elisabeth.  Instead, I thought that she might like to just sit on it.  So I tried it. I backed up and watched her.  Elisabeth looked like the smallest baby in the world.

We’re headed to Germany soon for seven weeks away.  Elisabeth will have her first birthday while we are there.  Unlike myself and my husband, she’ll be a different little person when we get back.  Officially, a toddler and no longer a baby.photo-115

Playgrounds are safer today than when I grew up.  At the elementary/middle school that I attended, we had a cement castle and a chainlink whirlygig-like thing that pinched fingers no matter where small hands were.  It was wonderful.  I think of that amazing playground whenever I take a swing.  No matter what the age though, I have a feeling that playgrounds will long be a favorite for both of us.

As an adult or a child…what was your favorite piece of playground equipment?  Leave a comment below.