Monday, July 25, 2011

In Your Own Backyard

The dog days of summer are here.  On the beautiful days we rise with nothing before us but promise of what the day might bring.  On the rainy days we ponder how to while away our time.

Summer holds a unique challenge for us.  The city is alive with school children, no longer are they tucked away by day within the confines of the school walls.  They are out, they are free, and they are everywhere.

Favoured playgrounds now house summer day camps.  The play equipment is lost beneath swarms of climbing, jumping, playing children.  The shops, the local attractions, all of the places to go are filled.

Everywhere is crowded.  Everywhere is full. 

If you parent a child who does not thrive in crowds, you will understand the problem.  We are left feeling that there is nowhere to go.  Our backyard becomes our sanctuary, the platform for all of our outdoor fun. 

Finding places to go, and things to join is a continuting challenge.  One I expect will only become more difficult over time.  Small group activiites are hard to come by.  Specialized programs are not always what you would hope they would be.

So we will wait out the crowds of the summer.  When the kids go back to school, we can once again reclaim the plagrounds.  I will continue my search for the right place for us.

I so often wish that the discussions about inclusion were extended beyond money-saving gestures of jamming all our kids into the one classroom.  Instead we could work as a community to find places for all kids to play and to thrive.  No more waiting on the side lines.  No more waiting out the crowds.

Until then I will  just be thankful for our backyard.  And my children who play so joyfully there.

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