The park is one of the best free compromises that Asher and I enjoy. He gets to play, and mommy gets to walk. When we are feeling really adventurous, we venture outside of our neighborhood playground. Figuring out the lay of the new land, Asher hits the ground running with joy. It’s an even bigger win when we get the playground all to ourselves. It’s free-range!

The park can be a social playground for adults as well. Although it’s not as easy as it is for kids, I admire how Asher will tell a kid “hi,” and 2 seconds later, they are playing chase, running around, and calling each other friends.

Although I love the thought of park dates, I find it sometimes hard to engage. Often in this limbo with other parents, some don’t interact with other parents, and others are talkers. I lean more towards the talkers. They might only be park friends. However, we might as well get to know each other as well.

While kids are learning about sharing and the limit of playing too rough. I try to let go of the reigns of being a helicopter mom ( I admit), it’s hard, and I also want to be mindful of the kids Asher plays with. I wonder, how will he learn if he’s not around other kids to test the limits, but not all parents have the same approach.

Then comes social distance, and all I can see on the playground is germs. Me not knowing the level of others’ comfortability when Asher walks up and wants to play, I find myself trying to pick up if it is okay? It’s a whole thing.

As a mother to an only child, social development is something I worry about often, but then I see my social butterfly in action, and I relax. He constantly reminds me that kids are far more resilient than I believe adults give them credit for.

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