I love taking my kids to the playground. At the playground the rest of the world is irrelevant. The playground is a vortex of positive human behaviour, a place where evil cannot reside. Joy is the currency of time. Adults become citizens of impeccable moral character, all desiring to teach their next generation solid characteristics of fairness, generosity, courtesy, caring and respect.
“No Jonny, let this little boy go first”,
“Go to the back of the line Paul, you must wait your turn”,
“Be careful of the little girl Jesse”,
“Let her play with the ball if you’re not using it” –
Adults seem to bond easier in this environment of common interest, we all have our best on display, I’m sure we feel better about ourselves and what we are contributing to the world. We effortlessly embrace a little small-talk while soaking in the righteousness.We can find ourselves pushing the merry-go-round not only for our own kids but for whoever decides to jump on just because it’s a nice thing to do and there is a sense that being the cause of a child’s laughter somehow replenishes your soul, counteracting what the outside world can on occasion siphon. Kids interact with each other in a way we seem incapable of – immune to the stereotypes and racial prejudices’ that infect the outside world.
Adults have a pass to act silly again, no-one to impress in the playground but their children. Dad chases the soccer ball and rolls one foot over the top while flicking his other foot behind him kicking the ball in a way he hopes shows off the skills he still has as opposed to the ones he used to have. Mum butters the bread and prepares the picnic as she watches on satisfied that life is as it should be. She’s a little over protective but only because she fears anything interfering with the perfection that is her children.
Dad climbs the spider wall with his 3 year old son just because he can. Mum runs alongside her little girl on the flying fox catching hands at the ready. She’s exhausted by the tyres, she didn’t anticipate it going that fast. Dad wants a go but knows he’ll either break it or be dragged along the dirt.
A sense of peace is in the air. We forget about the bills we’re not sure how to pay, we forget about the hardships in life. In this time, in these moments, we understand what it is to be grateful, to contribute, to let go of conformity, to embrace the purity of love and the appreciation of it. This is how life was meant to be. This is our playground.