I believe several life lessons can be learned on the playground- Learning how to interact with others, conflict resolution, how to share and how to take turns. I learned a lot at the park this summer also. The playground and park became a place of solace for me. It was a place to go and find other kids to play with. It was a time when I could zone out and be alone with my thoughts. I met some great people and those relationships carried me through a rough transition time. I had some purposeful conversations and was present to listen to other’s hurts and struggles. I was given the courage to follow through when I sensed God telling me to pray for someone who opened up to me. And I was able to speak hope into a crumbling relationship she had. As always, when I focused on others and stepped outside of my own self-pity, I began to see all the blessings I had been taking for granted. I was able to see the beauty in things around me, even though I felt lonely and isolated. I watched my kids play and interact with others and gleaned some important things from them. My 5-year-old inspired me with some of his life attitudes.
He believes every person you meet has the potential to be a friend. He doesn’t judge anyone on appearance and he doesn’t have preconceived ideas about people. He has a caring soul and often put other’s needs above his own. He is quick to help his sister or a new friend if they need it. He has a tender heart and is often an encourager. He showed me that life is what you make of it. He too had a rough transition period but every time we got to the park, he chose to have a good attitude and enjoy himself.
As I write this, I’m sitting at the park, watching Levi and Ellie play with a friend they just met. We have more activities now and have settled into a routine, which means our park visits aren’t as frequent. I know there will be many more ups and downs in this journey, but I’m thankful and humbled as I remember how God is faithful and carries me through the tough times. And whenever I see a concrete picnic table, it will be a reminder of the lessons He has taught me here at the park.