I don’t think I’m the only parent that prefers an empty park. Who tries to avoid the after school rush when possible. When your kids are still small it can be fairly stressful and frustrating. Sometimes there are pushy kids, bitey kids, sand throwers, and grabbers. Sometimes there are snot covered kids, and kids who scream and cry setting off a chain reaction of screaming and crying. Sometimes there are big kids.
Big kids are hit and miss. Some of them don’t know how to interact with the smalls of the world. Sometimes they play big kid games with complicated rules. Sometimes they do death defying stunts on the play structure. Sometimes they use not so nice words. Sometimes they break things. Mostly they get to stay as long as they want (or at least until dinner) and my kids alway cry because they want to stay with their new best friends in the whole word that they just met!
Some big kids are great! The other day we got to the park far too close to the after school rush. There were big kids. Aged maybe 9-10. There was a very acrobatic boy who jumped and swung and dove on the play structure. He had to have been one of the most encouraging kids I’ve ever seen. His friend, the skull tuqued girl, was weary of taking a big jump and he coached her through it. When the Alvin (and the Chipmunks) kid said maybe she shouldn’t do it, that first kid said “don’t UN-COURAGE her!” Making him the best kid of the day. He and Alvin also encouraged O to pass through a climbing part that he was kind of scared to go through before. They were so kind and so cool and O didn’t want to be a baby, he wanted to be a big kid, and now he can get through there no problem. They helped E climb up the slide, and patiently explained the rules to tag a few times (it was news to E that you couldn’t tag everyone around you). And when their other friends came Alvin, very kindly and clearly, explained that they were going to play a big kid game out of the park, and maybe they’d see them again another day. And my kids cried, because being the smalls of the world can be tough.
So to the parents of those big kids, wherever you are, you’re doing it right. Your smalls are now a little bit big and they are rad little dudes. Thank you!