It has not been the best weather for playing outside. So in an effort to save my sanity, I packed up the kids and took them to the infamous mall play area.
This is what we did at least once a week, all winter. There are three malls in my area and we just rotate through them. Some are better than others but they all fulfill the purpose.
Now, most people have a love/hate relationship with the mall play area and I am no different. But I get over all the little things that drive me crazy because it is a free place to take my kids where they can run around and play. The babies just love the slides and usually Hayden will make a friend so I am left to sit in peace for a while.
This trip was going well expect for the fact that Hayden was the oldest kid there. There was no one for him to befriend. He was bored.
Which means he was trying my patience by climbing on the seating area, kicking me in the face, and teaching younger kids some not so good tricks.
I just kept telling him to go and play. I kept trying to think of things for him to do so that he would leave me alone. “Why don’t you try and jump on all the gray rocks” Go and try and count all the little balls in the hour glass.”
He finally left me and went over the corner to sit down and pick at his sock. I sighed with relief, looked around and did my head count, 1… 2… 3… and 4 Hayden still alone in the corner and I tried to sink back into my seat and enjoy my quiet time.
But I just couldn’t get comfortable. There was something that was nagging at me. I looked around again at all the kids doing there own little thing. The babies were happy enough with the slide and Hayden had moved onto a puzzle on the wall but there was just something about his face.
His eyes did not smile like they normally do. He looked hurt.
I tried to forget it and get lost in my thoughts but I just couldn’t. There was something nagging me. Then I had this thought, “Man, I wish that Kate (our babysitter) was here. Then she could play with Hayden.”
Wait! Hold the Phone! Did I just wish for some one to come a play with my kid? What in the world is wrong with me? Am I that lazy and in need of that much mommy time that the two and half hours I just spent on the computer by myself was not enough? I still need more time? This is crazy? If I did not want to spend time with my kids then why in the world did I have them?
Right then and there I decided that I was going to change things. There was no need for me to continue to be on the side lines like all the other mommies here at the play area. I was going to do something about it. I was going to do something that is not done in the mall play area. I was going to play with my kids.
I got up and said, “Hey Hayden!?! Want to play Hide and Seek Tag?”
He looked up at me and gave me a smile, the smile that had been missing. That smile that I love so much.
That made the fact that I got stuck in the tunnel and embarrassed myself all worth it. And you know what else, all the other kids wanted to join in our game and when we left, I saw another mommy get up and continue to play with her son.
Now that is what its all about.