Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lessons from the Playground

Why walk when you can run? It seems to be our granddaughter, Kinley's, new philosophy on life. At nearly 16 months old, she meets life head-on and full speed ahead.

So far, she isn't telling us, "I do it." I'm sure that day is coming as the calendar pages turn and we move closer to her 2nd birthday. Her need for speed is not without casualties. Her poor nose got the brunt of a fall, and she was sporting quite a lovely scrape when we visited a couple weeks ago.

As we went to a couple of different parks during our visit, I kept thinking about how it was a metaphor for life. 
One slide was just the right size, Kinley could climb up the steps herself, and, with a steadying hand from Mommy for the first couple of trips down the yellow ribbon of plastic, she could pretty much do it herself.

Later in the day, Randy & I took Kinley to a park just a few blocks away from their house.  At that play apparatus, there were slides for toddlers and ones for a little bit bigger kids.

It was kind of like the Goldilocks story. The little one was just right. (photo below, upper left). Just like at the first slide, she could maneuver the steps with just a little help. However, we misjudged the middle-sized one, and Grandma should have been more worried about catching Kinley at the bottom than taking a photo (upper right hand side photo.) But, with a quick hug and a dust off, Kinley was ready for more.
For the biggest slide, Kinley needed a partner, and Grandpa was a willing volunteer. Sometimes in life, we need a little help (or a lot of help). We need that person pulling our wagon or guiding us over the bumps and turns of a situation that's bigger than we are.
We need someone to steady us. Or push us. Or pull us. Or just be happy to be with us.
We need people to help us dream dreams that are bigger and more numerous than bubbles on a springtime day. And when the bubbles and dreams disappear in a flash, they'll be there to help us conjure up some more, gently pushing us along just like a steady breath behind a bubble ring.
I'm thankful for the people in my life who are those kinds of helpers - family and friends who come together in the little ways - and when I need a whole lot of help. I am blessed!

So encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing. 
1 Thessalonians 5:11


  1. Sometimes in life, we need a little help (or a lot of help). Sometimes we need the courage and guidance to ask for help too.

    Kinley is so lucky to have an insightful Grandma in you, Kim. I hope you have a great relationship as she grows older.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! I'm excited to be one of the "helpers" in her life as she grows.