Melanie Jeanne

Slow Down & Smell the Sand

Some days you just have to slow down and smell the sand. It is as simple as that. Yesterday I was blessed with the ability to leave the office an hour early. Doodle and I were home, the sun was still high in the sky and the weather was perfect. We opted for an outdoor adventure. Bike. Sun. Sand.

I changed my gear from work attire to play attire and we were on the road in no time. Helmet on, safe rider on the road and Doodle was off on her Spring time adventure. Our adventure was to the local playground. Three houses down and to the right. My sweet is always thrilled to ride. She is always thrilled to head straight to the park. She is always thrilled to run free and explore. Yesterday was no different. However, yesterday, there were dozens of community kiddos at the park. Doodle’s timid side appeared, she parked her bike as she always does, took off her helmet and slowly walked into the playground. Initially she hung close, watching, observing, testing her boundaries. We made our way to the sand where two little girls had abandoned their sand toys to play tag, Doodle cautiously attempted to play. One of the little girls was too aggressive with her defiance and frustration with Avery, tearing toys out of her hands. The mama bear within was raging, but I hung back, watched and let my little warrior navigate life and life lessons all on her own. After a while I did make the little lady aware that Avery was trying to play and help clean-up. The kids in question were instructed to head home by their mama and their mama donated three toys to Avery for her playing enjoyment.







For an hour Avery and I dug in sand. We built pies and cupcakes, dug holes and wrote with twigs, buried our hands and feet and made a birthday cake, stuck a stick in it and sang happy birthday to our imaginary friend. All the while kids were running around us, playing tag, laughing and being kids. After an hour, the kids that were playing with us had invited Avery to join, they were playing kick ball, doing cartwheels, playing tag and were genuinely enjoying being kids.

Avery started running free through the green belt, doing somersaults, hunting for the perfect rock and playing tag with the kiddos that were still lingering. My heart swelled. My heart swelled watching the neighborhood kids; their kindness, their excitement, their joy and their willingness to engage Doodle. My heart swelled watching Doodle; her courage, her excitement, her exploration and her willingness to engage with kids she did not know. Watching her grow, watching her develop, watching her self esteem grow and watching her be free as a kiddo… It was magical. It is what mommy-hood is about. I want her to live a life full of adventure, exploration and courage. For me, for my two year, it started with playing at the neighborhood park with neighborhood kids.



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