Monday, October 15, 2007

On Playgrounds and Picture Books...

Yesterday my husband and I took Murray to the playground. It was really a perfect day at the park--clear and coolish and breezy. And the jungle gyms were not overpopulated with big kids who don't pay enough attention to their proximity to my three-year-old.

Murray was particularly excited about the playground because his girlfriend Emily was there. (He says she's his girlfriend. She says he's like "a brother she doesn't have.") Murray leads Emily around by her hand, and won't let her play with other kids and she happily obliges, lifts him up on the tire swing, and watches over him while he climbs. Emily is nine-years old and blond. (My son has a thing for blond older women.) He said he missed her. She asked him if he'd like to go trick-or-treating with her.

Watching the two of them together really melted my heart. And I realized it had been a while since I observed a group of kids playing for more than the two minutes I'm at Murray's preschool when I pick him up in the afternoons. I saw some boys tossing football and another group of kids climbing a big tree. I saw tiny toddlers laughing as their parent's pushed them on the swings. I watched all the kids climbing and hanging upside down and going down the slides. I even did a little playing myself. (Did you ever get a swing going really high then close your eyes? It's kind of like you're flying.)

I've been really caught up in YA the last few years, reading tons of novels for teen readers. Seeing these younger kids yesterday made me think about what really led me to my job: my love of picture books. I realized I miss picture books at least as much as Murray missed Emily. Sure I read some to him, but he's more interested books that teach him about trucks and tractors than books that tell stories.

I made a Monday night plan: I'm pulling out a stack of some of favorite pictures books, sitting in my spot on the couch, and poring over them. And hopefully I can get Murray to sit with me, and start learning that Toot and Puddle are just as fun to read about as giant excavators and tractor trailers.


Wild About Words said...

Very sweet, Alice. I enjoyed your post. Reminded me of those glorious playground days with our boys and their friends (who are now old enough to drive -- eek!) Cherish these days . . . and the picture books that go along with them.

Terry P. said...

What a great mom you are, Alice. It's wonderful that your reconnection to picture books will benefit both you and Murray. I'm sure they'll become treasured memories for him as well.

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