Bryce had parent, teacher conferences Friday which meant no school for Bryce or Hannah. My husband had to work so I had to find something to keep us busy. I don't know why, but when my husband is gone time seems to tick by at an exceedingly slow speed. So we decided to have lunch at the mall. Our mall has a great softish play area surrounded by the food court. I decided to allow the kids to eat and then I had lunch while they played.
While I was eating and watching the kids play I was remembering how often we came to the mall when we first moved to Wisconsin. Hannah was not walking yet and Bryce was only 3. I had diapers to change and strollers to park. As time went by, Hannah learned to crawl up the steps and go down the slide. The first year or so I would need to be near her so she didn't get trampled by the bigger kids. As time went by, I was able to sip a coffee while sitting on the sidelines. Soon enough, having lunch at the mall was something only Hannah and I did because Bryce was in school.
Our time spent playing at the mall has certainly evolved into something quite different today. I sat outside of the play area and ate my lunch with no worries of my small child escaping through the entrance. I didn't have to remind Hannah to go down the slide and up the stairs, not the other way around! I was able to look down from my children, take a bite, jot down a note or two and not fear my daughter had pulled someone's hair or my son had run around knocking other kids down. My kids are growing up.
The saddest part is, my kids are growing up! Soon enough we'll walk through the doors of the mall for lunch and neither kid will ask if they can play. Soon enough the soft play area will be part of our past. As each day passes I'm reminded more and more how my life is preparing for a shift in seasons. The days of play dates and mall play areas are almost gone. I'm sad to some degree. However, I'm mostly excited to see what the next season of mothering has in store for me and my family.
Thanks for the good times mall play area. Our time with you might be gone but will never be forgotten.