Last night we ate dinner backwards. A new restaurant opened near us with an ice cream counter, burger counter, and a playground. We took the kids yesterday afternoon for ice cream and play time. When we were still there an hour later (and hungry) we decided to stay for dinner. We ended up staying a bit more than two hours, a record for us.
- No one got cold. Or hot.
- Each child played to the best of his ability.
- When it got more crowded and some aggressive children showed up, we were able to take Jett aside and talk him through his choices on sharing playground space with them.
- Jett has built up enough muscle mass to be able to play that long without becoming utterly exhausted.
- Carlos was happy to be outside running and climbing. I do believe the boy is part monkey.
- Even Letty is now big enough to climb up and slide down somewhat unattended.
When we got in the car to go home Jett remarked “I feel like 10 million bucks. And that’s higher than average!” We realized he finally knew what it felt like to be a regular kid – one who plays freely on the playground. And for the first time we can remember we went to dinner as a family and didn’t have someone end up in tears, angry, or both. There was a strange elation in the air. It was slightly bittersweet – the “Oh, that’s what we’ve been missing” mixed with “Success! Yes!” But mostly we thought it a good omen as we enter the holiday week.
We enter this holiday week with new tools, designed to make our family more successful than ever at what comes naturally to most families. I think it’s only appropriate that we started it all with ice cream.