It was a sight unseen for what seemed like forever. Kids were playing at a splash pad — like, lots of kids were playing in the same general vicinity.
I mean, it was almost something out of a movie. I almost didn’t know what to make of it, but yet I was there with my kids, hoping against hope that my kids would play well with others.
Last summer, the COVID -19 pandemic reached peak numbers, and parks were closed with the yellow “danger” tape to boot. Kids were forced indoors and away from other kids their ages.
For over a year, kids (particularly those in the toddler age) spent day in and day out, away from other kids who didn’t belong to their family.
As a mom of three toddler-aged boys, and as someone who also has a degree in early childhood development, I worried for the social well-being of my children.
I feared that they would miss critical milestones in their social and emotional development. Because seeing the same faces over and over again would likely cause them to be uneasy around other people — yes, even other kids their age — when the chance presented itself.
My assumption was verified when I took my tiny tots to the splash pad. Every one of them stayed right close to me as we entered. Heck, even my 7-year-old who I ended up homeschooling during first grade this past year was uneasy around other people.
Yet, as the minutes ticked on, and as each one of my children observed other kids playing and having fun, they started to (quite literally) test the waters.
Before I knew it, my kids had assimilated into a world with other kids as if the year away from others never happened.
It was a sight unseen for months and months —a sight I didn’t think I’d see for quite some time— but it was well worth the wait.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your kids to the park and see the magic for yourself.
Because children playing is what summer is all about — really, it is. (Brown is a Serve Daily Contributor.)