Today is set aside to celebrate nice weather and the holiday weekend—and to get off of electronic devices—by enjoying public parks, green spaces, and the outdoors. We loved going to parks when the kids were little, from the state park up in the mountains where we could day-camp, cooking around a camp fire then hiking up on the ledge to see nearly 360 degrees of the rugged peaks of the Rockies, to local parks around our neighborhood. We named the parks based on something in their description, rather than by their proper names, mostly because it was easier to identify and remember, but also fun. We had the Wolf Park, because it had giant paintings of wolves on cinder block walls around the playground. We had the Hidden Park, because it was hard to find. There was the Duck Park, because we went there to see the ducks, and Sledding Park, because we rode our bikes there. Ha! Just kidding. We went sledding there.
One winter at the Sledding Park, I was way over on one side and Jason was near the top of the sledding hill. Somehow Pierce veered off the main run and headed down a longer, steeper stretch. I watched, totally helpless from the far side of the park as he gained speed and went long past the point where the sleds were supposed to gently come to a halt. His sled took him to the very end of the run, where the hill abruptly stopped, dropping off at a retaining wall at least six feet high that bordered a parking lot. He went sailing into the air and then disappeared out of my line of sight. The Mom Adrenaline shot into my blood and I was running, through knee-high snow, like I was in an Olympic sprint. I was moving fast, but if felt like I was running in slow motion, taking forever. I could not get there fast enough. Horrid things were flashing through my brain as I did the Panic Dash across the snow covered hill. I was bracing myself for what I’d find, and mentally preparing for the first aid I would need to administer while we waited for the ambulance. Finally, when I reached the first section of the wall, I jumped down like it wasn’t there and kept running. And I finally reached Pierce.
By then he was back on his feet, tugging on his sled, a little stunned and wide-eyed, but upright. Maybe the internal bleeding wasn’t impacting him yet. He looked up at me and finally smiled. “Did you see that?” he said.
“Yeah, I sure did.”
And he wanted to do it again.
So instead of administering it to him, I applied some first aid to myself, having me sit down first chance, put my head between my knees and take deep breaths while he hiked his sled back up to the top to start all over again.
Just another day at the park.
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