When Liza was little, taking her to the playground was both a relief and a huge hassle. We were out of the house, which was a good thing, but trying to get her to do what "normal" kids did on playgrounds was a nightmare. She didn't want to share the equipment with anyone - ANYONE - so if anyone else was at the park it generally ended up with tears and clingyness. She didn't want to stay on the age-appropriate equipment, so I was forever having to spot her as my 2-yr-old climbed up rope ladders on the middle school playground. She would ignore the playgroup we had gone to the park to see, at least until it was snack time and suddenly all the other kids' snacks were way more interesting than whatever I'd brought.
As she got older, if I sat on the bench by the playground, she'd run over to the sandbox. If I went to the sandbox, she wanted to swing. If I brought nothing to do, she wanted no help and wanted to stay forever, but if I brought my knitting she needed help with everything and wanted to leave after 5 minutes.
I've spent seven years looking enviously at the moms on the benches, the ones whose kids run off and play by themselves and don't constantly need to go to the bathroom or need to have bruises kissed or injured feelings comforted. The ones who bring books to the park - and actually get to read them.
And now, finally, I get to be one of those moms. I get to take my kid to meet a friend at the splashground and not have to do more than throw snacks to her every once in a while. I can sit in a beach chair in the shade and knit, talking to another mom about how to get the sap out of Liza's clothes once she climbs down out of that tree. True, I still have to doctor occasional scrapes, and apparently falling off of a low bar onto your back instead of you feet is so distressing it takes 10 minutes to recover, but I'll take that.
Because I'm that kind of mom.