It was pretty hot outside, but there is just the faintest snap of Fall in the air all the same. I just love that - do you know what I mean? Not exactly Fall-ish weather per say, but almost like a smell in the air? My favorite.
So we stopped and got Happy Hour drinks at Sonic (My other fave: making it to "Happy Hour" just minutes before 4pm and getting my giant iced tea with lemon and two small root beers half off just in the nick of time!) and drove to the park.
It seems like after school lets out, the park can be an iffy place. There are often a bunch of surly teenagers just hanging around at the bigger park, cussing and smoking and doing things to each other that I don't feel like my 2 and 3 year old need to see. Call me a prude, but it is just gross.
We decided to try a smaller park on the other side of town, and I was happy to see that we had it all to ourselves. My kids were happy to remind me that their Strider Bikes were in the back of the car and even happier to point out the empty skate park.
They jumped right in and started having so much fun!
(I forgot their helmets. And I let them ride there anyway. I suck. Judge me. I deserve it. Okay, that's enough judging. You can stop now. Next time I will remember them. I promise. I am not a terrible mother, I swear.)
I got nervous. I started to hover over my girls a little more. They didn't look like the gross teenagers from the big park that I mentioned above, but they were fast on their scooters I didn't want my girls to get knocked over or run into but this big group of rowdy boys. I decided that we wouldn't leave just yet, but if they started acting like jerks, I would be dragging my kids out of there kicking and screaming.
But guess what?
Those boys were SO NICE. At one point, I called out to Hayden, "Watch out so you don't get run over!" and one of the older boys called back, "We won't hurt them! We look out for little ones!" and all of these other boys agreed.
I tried not to fall over in shock and I thanked them.
My girls were very entertained with some of the cool things that the boys could do on their Razor scooters and were whooping and hollering and cheering them on. And you know what? The boys were doing the same for my little girls. They wanted to know how old my girls were and they were impressed to learn that they were just 2 and 3 and were already so adept at riding. they asked about our bikes. They even gave my girls a few pointers on when to lift their feet and where to coast to next. They truly looked out for the little ones, without being put out or annoyed that they had to share their space with us.
When they all left (we were there for two hours - they probably had to get home to dinner) they all called out, "Bye!" and I answered, "Bye, guys! Thanks for looking out for the little girls!" and their said, "No problem! See you later!"
It turned out that I had judged a book by it's cover and then got a pleasant surprise when I was totally wrong. There ARE nice kids out there. It gives me a glimmer of hope for this world that I am slowly sending my babies out into. :-)
When we got in the car, Hayden and Carly couldn't stop talking about how much fun they had. In fact, we are going back tomorrow after preschool (with helmets) and I can hardly wait to see some of the stunts that these friendly little daredevils learned from their new (much older) friends. :-)