It seems lately when the question is asked if I want to do something with Braden my answer is always, "Let's go to the park." I don't really know why this proclivity for park visitation has arisen. I never was a regular park attendee as a child. Of course the park that we had at the time was a couple run down swings and a lot of trees surrounding a softball field for the local beer league games.
I don't love the parks system as much as Leslie Knope or anything, but I do think that parks are pretty cool. She is right about that.
I think maybe the reason for my new found love of the parks system is two fold. The most obvious reason is that Braden LOVES to be outside. He regularly drags me or Arica to the door by the finger and points to the handle. He wants to be in the great wide open. The walls of our house are apparently too confining for him despite the fact that he has an embarrassing amount of riches in there to keep him occupied.
The second reason is that it is really difficult to take him outside at our house. We live at the foot of a mountain. Our front hard is very steep making it difficult for Braden to roam about. We also have only a small piece of property which doesn't provide sufficient space for our little explorer. It takes about 5 seconds for him to get out into the street. The back yard is better, but there are two gigantic dogs and a fence. Braden doesn't really mind the dogs, but again he isn't much on boundaries.
The park solves these problems. It is big and relatively flat. Braden can roam around for as long as he likes. He swings and slides occasionally, but the biggest draw for him is the ability to walk and walk and walk without someone scooping him up and ruining his fun.
We have to be careful what days we take him though because he has pretty bad tree pollen allergies. If you have never been to Arkansas in the Spring then you might not know how we are affected by tree pollen in this great state. For a couple months our entire world has a yellow haze too it. All surfaces are covered with yellow dust. All puddles of water look like a runny watered down pools of cheese dip. Pollen is everywhere.
Because of the pollen invasion we try to keep Braden inside on windy days. Otherwise he coughs and sneezes for a week or two.
When we actually get to the park it looks something like this.